Vaccination against COVID should begin in early January in nursing homes. But, it will not be compulsory. Residents will therefore have to give their consent. A delicate exercise with people with cognitive problems.

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Vaccines: how to obtain the consent of residents in nursing homes?

The nursing homes have nearly 700,000 residents, 40 to 60% of whom are said to be suffering from cognitive disorders that could affect their choice. It is then, in principle, a legal representative who is in charge of the decision-making. But it’s not always the case.

Legal protection for patients with cognitive impairment

Romain Gizolme, director of the Association of Directors in the Service of the Elderly (AD-PA), explains: “When you have memory or orientation difficulties, for example, you must actually be able to benefit from legal protection which must be determined by a judge. But today, given the French backwardness and in particular on the part of the Ministry of Justice, all the fragile people who live in an establishment, but in the same way, at home, do not benefit from legal protection. ”

Discussions still ongoing with the Ministry

In the absence of legal protection at the start of the vaccination campaign, obtaining consent could therefore pose a problem for these people. The organizations of institutions for the elderly are still in discussion with the Ministry in charge of Autonomy on this point. In all cases, discussions with residents will not begin until after the vaccine has been approved for marketing.