DESK REVIEWS | 04.03.04. (How) is the risk of mistreatment and abuse of people with dementia incorporated into the policy?

DESK REVIEW | 04.03.04. (How) is the risk of mistreatment and abuse of people with dementia incorporated into the policy?

It is stated in the Older People’s Statute that mistreatment and abuse towards any older person (with and without dementia) is not acceptable and will be treated under the penalty of law (Presidency of Republic of Brazil, 2003).


Presidency of Republic of Brazil. (2003). Estatuto do Idoso. Presidency of Republic of Brazil; National Congress of Brazil’s Information System.


The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP, 1999) confirms the commitment of the government to the well-being of elderly people by recognising important rights including the need to protect them against abuse and exploitation (Government of India, 2014). There is also the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act (2007), which places the responsibility on children or relatives to take care of the elderly and highlights that neglect or abandonment of elderly people is a punishable offence by law (Ministry of Law and Justice, 2007).


Government of India. (2014). Theme of International Day of Older Persons-‘Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All” echoes Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas.

Ministry of Law and Justice. (2007). Maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens Act. Government of India.

The national dementia policy/plan has not directly addressed the issue of mistreatment and abuse of people with dementia and its prevention. However, the national plan lists existing regulations that serve to protect older people from abuse as one of the indicators for the second action step (advocacy of human rights for people with dementia and their carers) (Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, 2015b).


Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia. (2015b). National Strategy: Management of Alzheimer and Other Dementia Diseases: Towards Healthy and Productive Older Persons. Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia.

The plan considers the need to promote the fight against discrimination in all spheres, as well as to inform vulnerable older adults about their rights, and mechanisms for access to services in case they become victims of mistreatment or discrimination, as well as to provide legal, social, and financial assistance to prevent abuse, violence or negligence in the care of the person with dementia.

Not applicable as there is no dementia-specific policy or plan for South Africa.