The abandonment of senior citizens in Yucatán during the pandemic is evident, expert says

(Photo: SIPSE)

Mérida, Yucatán, (July 31, 2021).- The Covid-19 pandemic has not only been cruel to the elderly in terms of infections and deaths registered in this age group but also due to the abandonment of large numbers of senior citizens in hospitals, shelters and some of the bodies of those who died were not even “claimed” by their relatives, which, according to specialists in human rights and family relations, is something unacceptable.

“Society has a duty to be supportive and better protect the elderly since they are the ones who suffer a disproportionate risk of death due to Covid-19. We all have an obligation to protect them from this threat,” said Víctor Chan Martín, a specialist in family therapy.

He added that the elderly are a forgotten population and only those who managed to generate some resource, via their employment or company during their productive lives, are those who can have a scarce monthly income to survive.

The director of Hogares Maná also assured that, in the past, the elderly were appreciated and recognized in the family and social environment.

“The last generations no longer look at grandparents as that figure of authority, respect and honor. We had to look at them as someone worthy, but the generations from the 90s onwards no longer look at grandparents as that dignified and honorable person, it is where this problem of abandonment is generated. Before they were taken into account for all family activities, going to the park, to the movies, to the beach, etcetera; Now it is not like that anymore ”, Chan Martin asserted.

“Imagine 70-year-old people living alone: ​​if they get sick from Covid-19, no one is going to see them, their children abandon them; then they fall into depression, health problems, and in many cases, suicide. That is why we say that they are a forgotten sector of our population, ” he said.

The family psychotherapist said that, although laws are required for the abandonment of older adults, what is required is more responsibility and gratitude on the part of their relatives.

Sensitive to disease

He recalled that this age group is also one of the most likely to acquire the coronavirus and requires care or assistance, in addition to the fact that many live in high-risk environments, such as geriatric shelters, where they are abandoned by their relatives who, in many cases, they make the annual payment for their stay and will not visit them the rest of the year.

“Physical distance is vital, but creative and safe ways must be found to increase social connections. People must have tools to keep in touch via the internet, even those who are in geriatric residences or in municipalities far from the state capital. Society’s contempt for old age has been evidenced. We have seen this in the cruel and dehumanized language that circulates many times on social networks, ” said Víctor Chan.

Finally, he indicated that although older people have become visible due to vulnerability to Covid-19, their concerns or opinions have not been heard. On the contrary, contempt for their condition has been evidenced.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom