The demographer and researcher at the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), Ana Amélia Camarano, organized a series of data and articles by various collaborators in the book The New Brazilian Elderly: Way Beyond Their Sixties?, launched yesterday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Institute and the International Year of the Elderly.
The book reveals that the life expectancy of senior citizens of both sexes in the coming years has increased over 14 years, excluding deaths due to causes that are considered avoidable, such as violence.
The book also shows that approximately 9% of the Brazilian population is composed of people over 60 and that at least 25% of Brazilian families includes an elderly person who contributes 54% of the family’s budget.
Another fact presented in the book is that 87.1% of male senior citizens are heads of families and only 12.7% of them receive less than a minimum wage (US$ 91.10) per month.
One of the chapters of the book deals with government policies for the elderly, among them the advances achieved in the Statute for the Elderly.
The New Brazilian Elderly: Way Beyond Their Sixties? proposes a reflection on the prolongment of life and casts the challenge of seeking measures to ensure better health care for senior citizens.
In an effort to combat violence against the elderly, the Brazilian government has created the National Plan for Dealing With Violence Against the Elderly.
The plan is run jointly by the Special Secretariat of Human Rights, the National Health Institute (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária) (Anvisa) and the Ministries of Health, Justice, Cities, Social Development and Hunger Combat, and Sports.
Plan action runs from infrastructure (making it easier for older people to move around) to improving the lifestyles of the elderly who are in prison, to making the public aware of the problem.
The plan will also institute oversight of homes for the elderly.
There are around 15 million people in Brazil over the age of 60, about 9% of the population. According to the UN, today there are 600 million elderly people in the world and that number is expected to jump to around 2 billion by the year 2050.
Since January 1, Brazil has a Statute for the Elderly which is in effect. It prescribes stiff penalties for mistreating senior citizens
Translator: David Silberstein