Hornsey pensioners call for dignity

The Mayor of Haringey Cllr Jennifer Mann, signs Hornsey Pensioners Action group's Dignity Action Day

The Mayor of Haringey Cllr Jennifer Mann, signs Hornsey Pensioners Action group's Dignity Action Day petition calling for Better Care Now! Photo: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Intrepid members of Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group braved Storm Henry to call for the rights of elderly people as part of Dignity Action Day on February 1.

The pensioners asked passersby to sign a petition calling for “better care now!” at St James Square in Muswell Hill.

“It was extremely windy - it was quite difficult,” said pensioners’ coordinator Janet Shapiro.

“But we collected lots of signatures, three sheets worth!”

The petition called for supporters to support the Dignity Code, which asks people to respect the rights and maintain the dignity of older people.

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It emphasises it is unacceptable to ignore pensioners or assume they cannot do things for themselves.

It reminds everyone not to treat older people as objects, or speak about them in their presence as if they were not there.

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The code says carers must not fail to take care of an older person’s personal appearance and there must be respect for their privacy.

Medical treatment must not be denied on grounds of age.

It says older people can make up their own minds and that their personal wishes must be carried out, including if these wishes are expressed in “living wills.”

The code asks for carers and family members to take into account an individual’s habits, values, cultural background and any language needs.

There should be respect for people’s homes, living space and privacy, the code says.

And there must be a right to complain without any fear of reprisal, it says.

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