The WHO denounced the “consequences of ‘racism against the elderly’”, on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October. According to the WHO, out of more than 83,000 people across 57 countries, 60% estimate that elderly people are not respected. The results are particularly poor in the richest countries.
Ageism is “is extremely current practice but most people are unaware of the stereotypes they unconsciously apply to the elderly”. This discrimination has a significant impact on mental and physical health: “Elderly people who think they are a burden to others also believe that their lives are less important. This exposes them to the risk of depression and social isolation”. These people “do not recover as well from disabilities and live on average 7.5 years less than those with a positive attitude”. As far as the WHO is concerned,“these social standards can be changed” by recognising the wide range of abilities elderly people have to offer.” Society can benefit from this ageing population if we all grow older with better health”.
At the same time, an international report on ageing and health is also encouraging public authorities to“help eliminate the numerous obstacles that limit the continued contribution and social participation of elderly persons”, and to “consider expenditure related to health care systems and the long-term care of the elderly as investments as opposed to costs”.
Le quotidien du médecin, Damien Coulomb (30/09/2016); OMS (29/09/2016)
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