Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 20



Thanks to the spectacular progress of medicine in industrialized countries, male and female expectancy of life kept increasing over the last fifty years and we must be happy for this.

However, this lifetime increase does not mean necessarily “quality of life”. For some people, old age is coming with new illnesses or diseases more or less disabling, but they mean in any case: loss of autonomy and, therefore, dependence.

Which steps have been currently taken or what provisions exist in France in favour of the elderly, whether they are dependents or not?

A law about society’s adaptation to ageing is being discussed in the French National Assembly that should, normally, come into force on the 1st of January 2016. Its main goal is home support, which can be provided to people whose degree of dependence still does not require an admission to any specialized facility, as well as to fund this service. This assistance is also addressed to the next of kin, especially to the “caring” kin, since their right to “rest” is recognised. Replacements are organised and new rights are granted to them giving a legal status to them.

In addition to this text currently being written, two essential preventive measures already exist. We refer especially to adaptation measures of public or private facilities that are related to the third age’s demand, especially in matters of accessibility.

The essential aspect of an action in favour of helping the elderly is, as we already mentioned, home support. It is necessary to foster it wherever possible, since most people demand it. This implies that some conditions have to be fulfilled; particularly, house adapting, making it accessible and improving its facilities’ ergonomics (adapting the kitchen and the bathrooms).

Home support means a greater autonomy, but we should also get this autonomy away from home, by organising meetings which foster socialization and thanks to near and accessible consulting rooms and paramedical healthcare centres, as well as thanks to adapted means of transportations in both urban and rural areas.

Prevention is also carried out in the medical sector. Systematic and early detection of new illnesses, including AMD (age-related macular degeneration) for instance, gives the possibility to limit their effects and make the treatment easier.

Intellectual activity in all its forms has also to be fostered, as well as physical activity, even if simple, as much as possible. In fact, it has been shown that intellectual and physical activity allows for the reduction of symptoms like those related to Alzheimer.

Michel Pageault