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Support Low-income Seniors

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The Catalan Entities of Social Action (ECAS) alarm about the progressive aging of the population and ask for more social policies

Six out of 10 seniors have difficulty making ends meet

61.3% of people over 65 years old in Catalonia have difficulties in making ends meet and covering basic needs such as food and expenses, according to the annual report prepared by Catalan Social Action Entities (ECAS), which this year focuses on the vulnerability of the elderly. The data is taken from a survey by the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat), according to which only 9.2% of the elderly have no problem reaching the end of the month and covering their expenses.

"Public administrations have to prioritize saving people," said Teresa Crespo, president of ECAS, during the presentation of the report this Wednesday.

As a result of the crisis, one in three families has to help their children economically

From the entities it is reported that, as a result of the crisis, one in three families has to help their children economically (200,000 people live in Catalonia without any kind of income). A determining factor for 90% of the elderly, according to the ECAS, do not have the capacity to save today.

"This means that their main concern is to cover their basic needs such as buying food, paying for electricity or keeping their house in good condition," explained Carme Gargallo, director of the senior citizens program of Caritas Barcelona.

A Lower at-risk-of-poverty rate for people over 65 years old

The report's figures show a drop in the at-risk-of-poverty rate for people over 65 years of age: from 15.3 percent in 2014 to 12.8 percent in 2015. This does not mean an improvement in the situation of this population, according to ECAS, which explains this drop by the decline in the poverty line in recent years: from 10,090 euros in 2009 to 9,667 in 2015.

"Every time you have to be poorer to be considered as such", said Crespo.

Older people has been suffering from nourishment deprivation

47.3% of older people suffered some material deprivation in 2015, and of these, 19.2% suffered two deprivations such as not being able to eat meat, fish or chicken at least every other day.

"The rise in the cost of living has not been accompanied by an increase in pensions," said Gargallo, who has alarmed at the progressive aging and lack of savings capacity of pensioners. "Before they made a small money box for unexpected expenses, now they can no longer," he added.

Elderly women are at greater risk of poverty

Women over 65 are at greater risk of poverty, 5.3% more than men. Only 45% of women receive a contributory pension compared to 80% of men.

"When we talk about poverty, women are the protagonists", said the president of ECAS. General retirement pensions are an average of 1,000 euros, although 60% do not reach this amount, according to the report, which states that 100,000 people receive contributory pensions and 32,000 non-contributory.

More dependents, less beneficiaries

As the number of people entitled to a dependency pension increases, the number of people served decreases. As of June 30, 2016, slightly more than half (58%) of the people entitled to dependency benefits were beneficiaries, while at the end of 2012 this percentage was 81%.

"Not only was the budget cut, but also the hours of service, the delays in evaluations increased and many people were valued below their real disability," explained the director of the Unidad Operativa Sociosanitaria D'ADB, Pilar Rodriguez.

The elderly population will continue to increase

The population of 65 years old will continue to increase in the future, according to l'Indescat's projections: in 2031, this age group will represent 23.9% of the total population, and in 2051, 30.8%. There will also be an over-aging of the group: in 2015 the population over 85 years represented 16.2 of the elderly population, while in 2031 this percentage will be 17.1% and 22.1% in 2051.

In view of this, the entities are betting on other organizational models. "We must return to the model of the rural territory, to a model of family and neighborhood care for the elderly," said Pilar Rodríguez.


Money collected will be used for:

- Contribute to helping the most vulnerable and needy elderly.

- Distribute food for the very low income elderly.

- Help with medicines.

- Help with the improvement of very bad properties.

- Accommodate those elderly who do not have a home in care facilities.

We will all get older, so please help us with your donations to protect those great people who have no resources so that their old age will not be a nightmare.

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