PAHO: Better health care needed for older people

People over 60 who live in the Americas have been hit the hardest by covid19, mainly because the health care systems in the region have not been able to respond adequatelyto their needs.

A release by the Pan American Health Organisation on Wednesday, for International Day for Older Persons, October 1, said, "Covid19 has exposed not only the fragility of older adults but also that of the systems and settings that support them."

And while covid19 has affected everyone, older people are more likely to experience severe effects of the virus.

In commemoration of International Day for Older Persons, PAHO is calling on regional health agencies to develop comprehensive, person-centred, integrated care, and primary health services that can properly care for the elderly.

PAHO said it's important to make immediate adjustments, specifically focused on the protection of the elderly, since it's recorded that those over 80 are dying at five times the average rate.

Pre-existing conditions are the main factor for the higher covid19 deaths among older people. PAHO said even before covid19, 50 per cent of older people in the middle and low-income classes lacked access to proper essential health care services.

"It's an issue that the pandemic has only exacerbated," the release said.

“The covid19 pandemic has really emphasised the needs and vulnerabilities that older persons have when it comes to their right to health,” said Carissa F Etienne, PAHO/World Health Organisation director. “Too often, we are not hearing their voices and perspectives when it comes to their care.

"Older people have the same right to care as anyone else. No lives are more valuable than others.”


"PAHO: Better health care needed for older people"

More in this section