Progress in identifying the Good Treatment for the Elderly, an international perspective
The tendency to reformulate the model of care for the elderly in need of care towards comprehensive designs that encompass person-centred care highlights once again the importance of addressing issues related to the people's dignity and the promotion of good treatment towards them. In this context, confronting situations of mistreatment that seriously violate their rights it is of concern to international organisations, older persons' organisations, academia, professional health and social services, and those in charge of social policies in different countries.
Although the problems related to the mistreatment of the elderly is gaining progressive visibility, it was until very recently that research on violence focused exclusively on child abuse, then on gender violence against women, leaving aside the mistreatment of the elderly, which was the last type to attract the attention of researchers. The reasons for this process are undoubtedly many, but there is one, related to the social value of old age and the stereotypes surrounding this stage of life, that certainly dominates the causality of this lack of interest in these clearly dramatic situations. We are still faced with a distorted perception of the reality of this population group, which is identified with fragility, weaknesses and, consequently, social burden. These social representations generate a clear underestimation of old age, enabling our society to live with a degree of excessive tolerance for situations that in any other population group would be inadmissible.
Following the itinerary recommended by academia and international organisations, i.e. "understanding to intervene," the initiatives that are taking place in the Basque Country, from research, training and commissioning of an instrument for detecting warning signs of physical and economic mistreatment will be presented at this conference. All these initiatives have been promoted by the Basque Government, with the technical support of organisations like Zahartzaroa and the Matia Gerontological Institute. This time, we will also have the contributions of experience in this area of knowledge from the prestigious Professor Pillemer.