The following document on the Dignity and Rights of Older People in Scotland was adopted and implemented into SPF standard policy and practice on 13th June 2017 and we therefore request that it be endorsed for use by our affiliates, members and other relevant bodies

Under Article 1 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) it states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” The SPF believes that this right should not diminish throughout an individual’s natural life cycle as, all too often, when people age, there is a common misconception within society that their contribution becomes less valuable than that of their younger counterparts.

This policy sets out that any movement towards denying older people their basic human rights on issues affecting their everyday lives on the basis of age is unacceptable and to this end calls for:

  • Respect for older people to take charge of their own affairs, or if necessary, by their chosen representative if they are no longer able to do so for themselves
  • That older people have the opportunity to actively participate, and to speak, for themselves on decisions affecting their overall wellbeing
  • That older people have access to information through language and methods of communication that they fully understand
  • That older people have the right to access proper health care benefits and treatments which could enhance their quality of life
  • That advanced statements expressing the personal choices of older people on their health care in later life be taken into consideration when they can no longer express themselves clearly
  • That care packages in later life be adapted to cater for individual needs and not on a standardised ‘one size fits all basis’
  • The right for older people not to be abused or disrespected in any way or being made to feel invisible or incompetent when carrying out everyday tasks
  • The right of an individual to be free from the threat of violence due to their age or vulnerability
  • Support for older people to allow them to maintain a good standard of personal hygiene and appearance
  • In line with the NPC Dignity Code, comfort, consideration, inclusion, participation, stimulation and a sense of purpose on all issues affecting an older person which could help enhance their quality of life
  • That there be no barriers to participation for older people, if desired
  • That there is respect for an individual's preferences, routines, customs, faith, cultural differences, disability, sexual orientation and all other needs appertaining to their sense of self
  • A proper mechanism for older people to address concerns and make complaint without fear of recrimination
  • Older people have the right to privacy
  • Older people have access to educational opportunities which could help improve their quality of life.
  • Older people have the right to employment opportunities, both paid and voluntary
  • The right of older people not to be discriminated against in the workplace as a consequence of age
  • The right of older people to be afforded dignity and respect in all verbal and written communications
  • That the rights of older people, as set out under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected and adhered to as standard practice

This document was ratified by delegates at our Annual Conference in Dundee, June 2017.

A downloadable PDF document can be found here

SPF Dignity and Rights of Older People in Scotland


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