The Federal Public Health Service launched the "Senior Patients" campaign on Monday, to inform elderly people about the possibility of appointing a trusted person as a representative in matters of health care.
The aim is for the trusted person to guide and support the elderly person in their choices regarding medical care.
When an elderly person is temporarily or permanently unable to make their own medical decisions, these can be made on their behalf by this designated person.
"Patients who have taken this step feel more reassured," said Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen of the Patients' Rights Unit of the Federal Mediation Office of the FPS Public Health.
"They are reassured that a person of their choice can help them in their contacts with health care providers or represent them when they are no longer able to exercise their rights themselves," she added.
Voel je gerust! Zoals elke patiënt, kunnen oudere patiënten een familielid of naaste kiezen om hen te ondersteunen bij medische consultaties of een ziekenhuisopname. Bekijk de nieuwe campagne van de FOD Volksgezondheid en praat erover! https://t.co/LN3csnGAXD pic.twitter.com/nYFAWgwnmy— FOD Volksgezondheid (@be_gezondheid) April 19, 2021
Translation: "Feel at rest! Like any patient, elderly patients can choose a family member or relative to support them during medical consultations or hospitalisation. Check out the new campaign of the FPS Public Health and talk about it!"
The campaign aims to inform both older patients and frontline carers.
Initially, it will be rolled out in residential care centres, and will then be extended to other professions in contact with older people, such as home care and rehabilitation centres.
The Brussels Times