On May 25th, the whole world, up in arms about George Floyd, the African-American man who died of suffocation during his arrest by the police in Minneapolis, united to fight against anti-black racism with a slogan, “#BlackLivesMatter “.
4 months later, the COVID-19 pandemic affects all nations, without distinction; populations of 65 and over are suffering its highest burden (92% mortality in France, 90% in Sweden, 89% in the United Kingdom). And as the 20th Anniversary of the rights of the elderly in the European Charter are celebrated, the XX Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology with the support of 42 other organizations from 29 different countries is launching the slogan “#OldLivesMatter” to fight against anti-old racism and raise awareness among citizens, media and institutions.
Ageism is the most common discrimination
Hospital emergencies refusing to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 epidemic, “because there is no room lett”; endless advertisements for anti-ageing creams that stigmatize old age; perpetual denigration – “old bashing” – of the old for their lack of tech savynesss; the word “retired” which immediately rejects you from society; the cult of youth, always, and the ever-ending scorn for old age.
All these are du to ageism, the most widespread, ordinary and universal discrimination – the only kind of discrimination not tackled by law). Most people are unaware of the stereotypes they subconsciously hold about the elderly, and yet it slowly destroys them – studies have proved that people exposed to negative aging behavior live an average of 7 years less than the others.
Insidious discrimination undermines our societies: exclusion of the majority of old adults from the society is an unacceptable tragedy and is contrary to the principle of dignity.
#AllLivesMatter: black people, young people and old people
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU which officially recognizes “the right of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life” (right which was not present in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), the SFGG, accompanied by European and American geriatrics societies, is launching a global awareness campaign for the rights of people aged 60 and over.
With 3 videos available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Italian and German – “#OldLivesMatter” by Jean-Paul Lilienfeld, Director of “La Journée de la Jupe” (2010) with Isabelle Adjani, which received a “Cesar” for her role – showcasing 3 kinds of ordinary racism under a humorous and original light, “we wanted to show how ageism is such a common discrimination that we no longer see it. “
In 2050, people aged 50 and over will be 2 billion in the world: “society will be able to derive an advantage from this aging population if we all age in better health. But for that, we must eliminate ageist prejudices ”explains Prof. Olivier Guérin, President of the SFGG.
One day, if all goes well, you will be old:
Prepare your future, fight ageism!
43 organizations : The Geriatrics and Gerontology Societies of Algeria, Armenia, Belgium, Belarus, Bolivia, Holland, Switzerland, Greece, Finland, Malta, Thailand, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Brazil, Philippines, Chile, Iceland, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Czech Republic and Iceland
IAGG, IAGG Garn, EUGMS, Gerondif, Gérontopôle Sud, Gérontopôle Pays de Loire, Gérontopôle Bretagne, Ville Amie des Aînés, EICA European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing, International Federation on Ageing, FIAPA, International Longevity Centre ILC France.
FIAPA has been fighting agism for 40 years
FIAPA is a federation particularly committed to the defence and protection of the rights of the elderly. It is committed to a permanent fight against ageism. Through its strategy of integration and intergenerational representation in all bodies dealing with ageing, its voice is real, appreciated and taken into account.