The pandemic has made clear how important are elderly people in our society. Not just their knowledge and experience are what counts, but also their courage and mindfulness have been a reference for us. In countries like Spain old people participate in social life, independent from the pandemic. In Madrid, they go to the theatre and restaurants, many times hand in hand with their couple.
It makes you feel good about becoming old to see how we cared in this crisis for our parents, grandparents as well as aunts and uncles. When the pandemic started it looked like we were killing the elderly leaving them alone in their homes and residences. But we turned around the story immediately, because their is no such plan to kill older people as some conspiracy theories want to make us believe. However, to care properly for elderly Europe needs 1,264,576 new residential spots to cover dependence, which will increase with the all the time growing life expectancy. It is good news because it is generating over 632,000 new jobs.
The project “Europe’s Elderly” focuses on the creation of 1,264,576 beds for European Union countries that have not achieved the ratio recommended by the WHO. This action would generate 632,288 new jobs with an investment of nearly 75 billion (75,000 million) euros, through suitable public-private collaboration. It is necessary to continue this debate in depth, but we must also, in parallel, work to provide the system with the necessary resources. This will not only improve the quality of life of the elderly, but will also contribute to economic growth, generating investment and jobs, along with important returns”.
The following conclusions from the report can be highlighted:
• Demographic tendencies warn that, as time goes on, the elderly population will increase with respect to the total population.
• The number of people who are dependent is rising continuously; at present, over 18 million people in the EU are dependent.
• The average volume of business in the public health sector in the UE in 2018 was1.07% of the GDP, reaching 253 billion (253,000 million) € annually.
• This investment will have repercussions involving positive returns for the administrations due to the savings in welfare benefits and to tax revenue. In Spain, it is always the family that helps people to overcome a crisis like this one, not so much the state. When our parents become old, we have a chance to give back part of it. Now many of them are physically dependent, but also socially. Many of them slipped into poverty without being noticed. Let us not forget about the elderly, never.