A human rights framework for home care

For our inquiry into older people and human rights in home care, we devised a framework for evidence collection, which identifies areas where older people’s human rights might be at risk. This framework draws on the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Principles for Older Persons. It may provide a useful starting point for commissioners and providers of services who are thinking about adopting a human rights approach to home care.

Dignity and security

  • Physical well-being
  • Freedom from intentional physical abuse
  • Freedom from unintended / careless neglect
  • Protection from pharmaceutical / medical abuse
  • Protection from sexual abuse
  • Psychological and emotional well-being
  • Freedom from bullying and threats
  • Freedom from disrespectful treatment
  • Freedom from being ignored / not talked to
  • Respect for cultural heritage / religion
  • Financial security / security of possessions
  • Protection from financial abuse
  • Financial decisions taken in one’s best interests (if someone lacks capacity)
  • Freedom to control one’s personal possessions

Autonomy and choice

  • Self-determination in one's life
  • Right to live as independently as possible
  • Right to make routine decisions (eg what to eat / wear)
  • Right to be consulted about ongoing professional decisions
  • Right to determine the timetable of one's day

Support for decision-making about care

  • Right to information and advice about options
  • Right to be offered meaningful choices and time to decide
  • Right to be offered support for personalisation of care
  • Right to nominate a third party to decide, if desired
  • Appropriate application of Mental Capacity Act (if someone lacks capacity)


  • Respect for privacy
  • Modesty when dressing / bathing
  • Privacy when one's personal circumstances are discussed by others
  • Respect for personal space
  • Respect for wish to be alone
  • Respect for wish to be intimate with others
  • Respect for private correspondence
  • Respect for private letters
  • Respect for private documents
  • Respect for private phone calls

Social and civic participation

  • Friends and family
  • Right to maintain relationships with family
  • Right to participate in the community
  • Right to participate in elections

Last updated: 11 Jul 2016