'In a society
where everything can be bought and sold, the
old age can also turn into merchandise
like the rest.'
The admired author from Turin, a distinguished internatinal figure of
Law and Political science, left us this warning in his work 'De senectute'. And it is enough to look
around us to realise that he is right.
We continue in crisis and revising the situation: we can
understand it by shortage, scarcity... like a decisive moment in a serious business of
important consequences, too; but also like a considerable mutation... in order to improve
or worsen the situation... The word crisis is defined in the Dictionary of
Real Academia Espaņola with all these meanings and some more. The first two
definitions expound a material point of view; the third one alludes to a
removal, to a change, and we do position our attitude in the last
It is convenient to think about a new perspective so that
this removal will be done in order to improve. The problem should not be
formulated giving priority to economic factors, but instead, including others
that can affect human sensibility and self-respect, and sail like fragile paper
boats on the sea of these hectic times.
Poverty has been called
exclusion since the 80s, which
is a wider and more complicated term. The poor are not only people that do not
have any money or goods, who are hungry or
ill and cannot afford a doctor... but also
those who do not have representation and freedom, those that have lost
their social links. And there are factors of
risk that directly or indirectly can drive us in such a situation -yes, us- both
as individuals and as a group.
The degradation of the integration power of families is an
unquestionable fact, as well as others like the ageing and ailments that we
suffer, and the poor and inadequate presence of the elderly in the media.
We cannot ignore that we are vulnerable. But we feel like
optimistic and active citizens too. We are
useful and ready to reconcile the intergenerational differences and to
contribute with our aptitudes and efforts to a common future. So that is why? We
demand the prominence and active presence in society and the media that
corresponds us without any doubt.
As a group, we keep alive our manifesto of the
31st October 1990, Declaration
of Brussels, that express our collective identity and social vocation -the
reason of the existence of our associations-, inherited from our professional
practice in singular organizations, promoters of progress and richness of
people, as said in this manifesto.
Protected by the right of the free association and linked
collectively to a social aim of our entities of origin, we are organized in
Associations, Federations, Confederations, Groups like ours, affiliated to
supranational Platforms for the Elderly that bring all the sectors together in order to obtain more influence in the social
processes in which we participate, and
cooperate with effectiveness in the solution of conflicts and needs, including
ours, although in some cases our intervention was obstructed or
We need to strengthen our Associations because the time is
short. We must anticipate and provide the change of our means of government bodies,
give them vitality and topicality by incorporating
new associated members and encouraging them all to take part in this
activity. This is a constant challenge in order to guarantee the current and
active public presence in our movement of association.