University of São Paulo: Citizen’s Old Age Movement fights for quality of life and against prejudice

A movement created in Brazil seeks to combat ageism, age-based discrimination, and promote more respect for the elderly. With the advancement of science and the increase in longevity, the Elderly Citizen fights for a healthier and more respectful aging process.

Professor Yeda Duarte, from the Faculty of Public Health (FSP) at USP and coordinator of the Health, Well-being and Aging Study (Sabe) in the Municipality of São Paulo, tells Jornal da USP no Ar 1st Edition that this is a growing movement and active for a few years.

Its performance gained more visibility in the midst of discussions on the inclusion of old age as a disease in the ICD 11 (International Classification of Diseases) of the World Health Organization (WHO). “We started a movement to remove the old age code from ICD 11”, says the professor. The mobilization had an effect and the WHO gave up classifying old age as a disease.

life stage
Yeda explains that this classification would mean that anyone over 60 in Brazil has a health problem simply because of age. “That’s not true”, she says, “old age is a phase of life”. The topic also gained prominence after the United Nations (UN) declared the Decade of Healthy Aging in the Americas (2021-2030) .

The teacher recalls that ageism is a prejudice formed from a mistaken view of what aging is. “That no longer applies today, people are aging better, active and working.”

The Citizen’s Old Age movement also seeks effective action, especially in this election year. “It is a non-partisan movement. It means working with all parties and candidates so that, in your government plan, everything that can be related to better conditions for old age in the country is included.”

In Brazil, the vote of people over 70 is optional, but Yeda encourages the participation of these voters. “People need to be aware of their importance in this movement”, she concludes.