“We cannot be satisfied with inspecting structures, verifying practices, if the evil is not named in the first place. Jean-Christophe Combe, Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities, launched Monday, March 6 the general states of abuse. At his side, Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister Delegate for People with Disabilities, clarified the outlines, recalling that “mistreatment can take place in the institutional framework, but also in the public and private framework”.
Strengthen the attractiveness of care professions
“70% of French people say they are worried about themselves or their loved one about the risk of abuse,” lamented Jean-Christophe Combe, before recalling, two days before Women’s Rights Day, that “20% of feminicides concern women over the age of 70”.
The Estates General must take an interest in the mistreatment of all vulnerable adults: women, people with disabilities, the elderly. The objective is to propose a national strategy in the fall. In the meantime, several working groups will meet in order to work “on the one hand on the early identification of situations of abuse at home and the orientation of victims, and on the other hand on the mobilization of the police and justice”, specified the Minister of Solidarity.
Furthermore, increasing the attractiveness of care professions in facilities for people with disabilities and for the elderly remains a major challenge for the government. In 2023, only 3,000 nursing home positions will be created out of the 50,000 promised by Emmanuel Macron by 2027. If the cases of abuse are not only due to the lack of staff in the reception structures, Jean-Christophe Combe hopes, through these Estates General, to speak to young people who are already sensitive to these causes and “create lasting vocations in them”.
Associations remain cautious
Faced with the shortage of staff, the Association of Directors Serving the Elderly (AD-PA) hopes “that this work will lead to the establishment of a ratio of 8 professionals for 10 elderly people in institutions”, confides Pascal Champvert, president of the association. For the time being, no envelope has been specified by the government to fight against abuse, but “the ethical emergency is combined with the economic”, points out the AD-PA.
On the side of APF France handicap, we also welcome these states general with caution. For Astrid Simoneau-Planes, the association’s “relational, affective, intimate and sexual life” referent, what counts is in particular “to make up for the lack of staff in the reception structures and to disseminate better information concerning the rights and freedoms of persons in care”.
Pending the national strategy, several consultations with representative bodies dedicated to old age or people with disabilities will take place until May. The Estates General will be closed in July. If five months may seem insufficient to develop a plan to fight against abuse for all vulnerable adults, Jean-Christophe Combe assures that “the announced strategy will be flexible and may need to evolve”.
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