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Old age: “Beyond budgetary measures, what model do we want for our elders?”

2021-10-27T17:31:58.531Z

FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - The Assembly adopted Tuesday, October 26, the 2022 budget for National Security. The 400 million euros devoted to old age should not obscure the absence of major reform on aging and dependency, considers Laurent Frémont.



Laurent Frémont is the co-founder of the Collectif Tenir ta main, dedicated to supporting the elderly and hospitalized patients.

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Let us return to Caesar what he owes to the debt and taxes of the French: the government's budgetary measures to promote the autonomy of the elderly are of an unprecedented and welcome scale.

It is not less than 400 million euros which are devoted to the old age in the Bill of financing of the social security. The minimum price of € 22 for the personalized autonomy allowance is a first step, certainly insufficient compared to the rates demanded by professionals to support vulnerable elderly people with dignity. The 15% increase in the salaries of carers and the increase in nursing home staff will improve the working conditions of those who take care of our elders. Compensation for caregiver leave will help support the relatives of dependent people in their worthy support effort.

Are we going to stop seeing our seniors as second-class citizens?

Can we guarantee them support and respect at the end of their life?

Laurent Fremont

But these budgetary measures, however substantial they may be, only obscure the basic subject: what support model do we want for our elders?

Are we reduced to keeping a breathless model on a drip?

In reality, this budgetary tinkering only comes to patch up with great difficulty a sector which is crumbling under the weight of several challenges.

First of all, a demographic challenge, since the wall of aging is approaching: nearly 5 million French people will be over 85 years old in 2050, i.e. three times more than today.

More than 2 million of them will have a loss of autonomy, that is to say twice as much as to date.

These figures show the extent of the upheaval in family balances and our model of national solidarity that awaits us.

Then there is a public health issue, since it is a question of improving the population's healthy life expectancy, in particular through prevention policies and comprehensive support for the person.

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A question of attractiveness also since the recruitment needs are important, for professions often perceived as difficult and poorly paid.

Last but not least, a major societal issue: are we going to stop considering our seniors as second-class citizens?

Can we guarantee them support and respect at the end of their life?

The latest barometer of the Little Brothers of the Poor has highlighted the terrible reality of the loneliness of the elderly: since 2017, the number of people over 60 who are isolated from family and friends circles has doubled ...

All these questions were to be addressed by the “Generations of Solidarity” bill, announced by the Head of State in 2019, which was to provide “

an extraordinarily ambitious global response

” to the issues related to aging.

The “all-Ehpad” model, which is still the standard, no longer seems able to meet the aspirations of society.

Laurent Fremont

After several reversals and broken promises, this major reform is finally buried.

This sea serpent is therefore condemned to remain in the boxes, in accordance with a habit adopted by all successive governments for twenty years.

A dozen reports, unanimous demands from the sector, and societal awareness will therefore only have led to budgetary measures with minimal ambition.

As Marie de Hennezel pointed out in a recent column, “

What, in the unconscious of our decision-makers, explains these broken promises, if not the rampant ageism which ultimately aims to exclude the old and the old of their political, budgetary and even societal trade-offs

”.

However, this law would have made it possible to achieve a global ambition making it possible to consistently cover a large number of capital subjects (prevention, care, care pathways, professions, innovation, etc.) while carrying a holistic view of aging.

There is much work on these subjects and public opinion is desperate for a paradigm shift.

Indeed, the “all-nursing home” model, which is still the standard, no longer seems able to meet the aspirations of society.

Collective, anonymous and medicalized housing can no longer be the only answer to the issues of dependency.

Read alsoWhy is the suicide rate among the elderly so high?

In this area, the creativity of the new players in the sector is phenomenal: intergenerational housing, solidarity shared rentals, beguinages, prevention tools, aging at home ... The emergence of so many innovative initiatives makes it possible to give everyone the form of support and accommodation that corresponds to it. And the models are endless, inspired by beautiful examples that work and attract, no longer reducing old age to a juicy market with colossal financial stakes.

Finally, the adoption of this law would have had a symbolic or even reparative significance after the many ethical drifts that we have observed for nearly two years.

Paradoxically, our elders were the collateral victims of the management of the health crisis: reduced to isolation, condemned to "slippage", banned from contact with their loved ones, even deprived of last farewells or dignified funeral rites.

In this context, we can only be skeptical about the eagerness of several presidential candidates to make the “right to die with dignity” the great societal struggle to mark their presumed five-year term.

What if, before choosing to "die well", we gave our fellow citizens the choice to "age well"?

Old age concerns us all, in the more or less long term.

However, there remains a blind spot in public policies.

This social issue says a lot about the value we give to existence and the place we want to give to the most vulnerable.

After so many retreats and resignations, the candidates for the presidential office will not be able to ignore it.

Source: lefigaro

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