Josefina suffers from senile dementia and requires having someone in the neighborhood to take care of her all day, a task that falls largely on one of her daughters-in-law, while the 88-year-old woman lives with them; but his son and grandchildren work. In addition, they sometimes study and take care of their care. Grandma is lucky.
In other families, where there is no full-time housewife anymore, "they have no choice but to leave the elderly alone, even if it is a risk," said Irma Fabiola Díaz García, researcher at the University Health Sciences Center (CUCS) of the University of Guadalajara (UdeG).
This can be misunderstood as a form of abuse by standard or omissions, but it is only due to the lack of gerontological services. In this case, he provided a day center within the reach of the bag, he added.
According to figures from Inegi (2015), only one in ten older adults live in Mexico alone, seven out of ten of whom are functional and independent, said teacher Yolanda de Jesús Hernández Delgado, an academic in the Bachelor of Gerontology. from the University Center of Tonalá (CUTonalá).
Although it varies depending on the degree of dependence, the most common reaction is that one of the women in the family takes the lead. From the following profile they are between 40 and 50 years old, with a low and medium economic level "who have almost left their lives to be in the care of older adults".
However, men also serve as caregivers. "And what are we going to do with who cares? That is what gerontology is about," he said.
Hernández Delgado stated in an interview that only a minimum proportion of the elderly live in one of the 149 nursing homes registered in the state; usually private help, so that they are out of the economic reach of many families. In public shelters there are waiting lists and almost all require that the person can stand alone and does not suffer from Alzheimer's or other dementia.
In principle, aging of the population is one of the greatest achievements of humanity. Yolanda Hernández shares data from the health system, since in 1930 the life expectancy in our country was 34 years; in 1970, 61; and for 2015, 75. However, the years have implications: specific physical, emotional and social needs of the elderly, which, if adequately covered, would improve the living conditions of this population group.
"Sometimes we associate old age with poverty, with dependency, and this generates a negative image of this social group, and few of us want to grow old because we are afraid to think about being dependent, being poor, being alone. need a change in this perspective, "said the academic of CUTonalá in gerontology, after stressing that older people are functional and independent, and that the percentage can be increased if a healthy lifestyle is adopted. for old age
In the framework of the National Day of Older People, which has been commemorated on August 28 since 1982, specialists from the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) warned about the challenges that Mexico will face in order to attend a growing population. integral way.
Healthcare – in physical, psychological, nutritional and social aspects -, economic security, social inclusion and care services for those who have a certain degree of dependence, are some of the key challenges that need to be solved, beyond the assistentialism.
"You have to see what we have to do to take care of them, also think of those who go there, all this has to do with self-care," they said.