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This year I have interviewed dozens of people who have told me how aged care facilities drugged their parents, grandparents, husbands, wives and neighbours. We’d sit down in someone’s home, or in an advocacy group’s meeting space, or in a coffee shop, and…

Choice and the Dangers of Institutionalization for Older People

There are inherent risks in the institutionalization of older people. More protections from those risks are needed, particularly around decision-making. A “best interests” standard for decision making “for your own good” is not good enough. Older people’s…

We are not destined to be objects of pity in our old age. But ageism is alive and kicking.

Most people in England have probably heard about the country’s social care crisis and the enormous pressure on the vital services that support older people to live independent and dignified lives in their own homes.
 The crisis might seem…
I’ll start with a sentiment I hear a lot when I say I work on older people’s rights: “Oh, nursing homes can be awful, but my dad’s in a good one.” I would hope that everyone living in a facility is living in a “good” one. But unfortunately, that just isn’…
“Before my husband was even buried, my brother-­in-­law was making moves [to take over my property]…,” a widow living in a homestead outside Bulawayo with her three children told me, “I only realised about three weeks later that I was being left out.”…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
The armed conflict that swept eastern Ukraine in 2014 and is still ongoing displaced close to a million people, who fled the fighting.
 Among those left behind, trapped in the war zone, were those too frail, too sick, or too poor to flee. Many…
When the organizers of this week’s World Humanitarian Summit consulted people from aid organizations and people affected by disasters and conflicts about their priorities, addressing the neglect of older people was rightly a key concern. Now the…