The Cyprus Third Age Observatory on Wednesday denounced any behaviour that contravenes basic principles of human rights and the European Charter on the rights of the elderly.
The announcement followed media reports that residents at an old people’s home in Limassol had been humiliated when they had their heads shaved because of a suspected lice infestation.
The reports said that a citizen had lodged a complaint with the ombudsman that the home had shaved the heads of men and women, without giving them an option or using a professional barber or hair dresser.
The result was reminiscent of inmates at a concentration camp, he said. The same citizen said the old people are woken up at 3 am for a bath every day, the media reports added.
Cyprus Third Age Observatory Dimos Andreou spoke of inhumane and humiliating treatment adding that a complaint about mistreatment of an elderly woman at the same home was pending.
In its announcement, the Observatory said it recognised that old people’s homes are profit making operations, but they deal with people that needed special care, respect and love.
“Their work is a vocation because elderly people should be given specialised treatment based on a human-centred model and not on increased profitability. They must invest in suitable trained carers so that they can be effective and deal with the ever increasing needs of those they care for,” it said.
It added that it has long been sounding the alarm regarding neglect, abuse and exploitation of old people. The state must step up up inspections and institutions that do not meet the minimum requirements to be closed down.