When I acknowledged this year’s main
issue, I must confess I was worried.
What a motto!
- Sanitary discrimination among elderly
With 74 years old and living in
Portugal, this subject has never been dealt with.
Little by little by little, the work must be started.
The first thing I did was to telephone my friend López, I told him about my
doubts and he gave me two aims: there are few geriatrician doctors and, on the
other hand, there not enough sanitary specialised areas for people of our
Encouraged by these ideas I started
Among the Legislation a fact of discrimination based
on people’s age cannot be found and, in
Portugal the Bill of the Elderlies’ Rights, passed
by the United Nations’ General Assembly on the 16/12/91, is known and
I rapidly visited the care homes destined
for our elderlies, and from there I departed even faster and more scared.
Sometimes we overestimate our condition of Europeans but these homes seem
waiting areas for the final trip, and even so the access to them is limited
because of the lack of space or financing.
Nevertheless, I did not find
discrimination there. They are deposits, the same as several kindergartens where
parents have to leave their children because they have to go to work. The only
difference is the age of the users.
In what has to do with insurances, the
only discrimination existing referring to age is the limit of 70 years
In review: if we take the meaning of
discrimination literally, we could say that it does not exist in
Once this conclusion is reached the work
seems to be finished.
But the work is not done, it cannot be
finished if we understand that sanitary care should go further than the medical
treatments give for enlarging our life; they should also provide the elderlies
with a comfortable life that can only be reached when there is tenderness and
Therefore, discrimination exists as a
consequence of the society we have created and to which we belong to; a society
where even milk must be “light” and there is a vast number of people who don’t
dare to lift their legs to avoid an obstacle because they fear their surgically
restyled skin will break. A society that decides to abolish the penalty of death
and reaches the extreme of making-up the dead’s faces in order not to scare the
living. So as it can be seen, our society is not willing to live with those
This is why everybody is willing to accept and
exploit the first old age generation while they are able to look after their
grandchildren and, in the short term, great-grandparents (second on age
generation). This society doesn’t show no availability for organizing schedules
so there is a place for the love and respect the elderlies need, deserve and
This is the real discrimination.
we take into account that the legend of “delenda Cartago” is the story about an
ancient civilisation that used to take their elderlies to a mountain and gave
them a blanket so they could reach the end of their days with some comfort, it
is very important that we fight at all levels so a Governmental Department is
created (The Elderly Secretariat)
and we find the way to tell nowadays society: give us a pair of scissors so we can cut the
blanket in two so you will also have one when your turn
Maybe these way mentalities will change
and the elderlies will be entitled to the loving care that will help them in the
last step of their lives.
This is an effort our Group must
Boto – Associação de Reformados