THIRD LONELY AGE
If we put together 630,000 people over 65 years of age in Madrid – 20% of the population – we could make a new city that would be the sixth most populated in Spain.
Of these 630,000 people, more than 160,000 live alone. To this objective solitude is added another more personal, more intimate that expands time without company and makes the nights are eternal.
The hours are spent in houses full of photos and memories, interrupted by occasional visits by a family member or friend. But the years weaken those ties. When they did not have children, as is often the case, the few relatives are far away. The visits do not arrive, the phone does not ring.
Old age is often portrayed as a «golden age» full of time and opportunities to do everything one could not do in the «productive» age. But with great limitations of mobility and few social relations, those longings are farther than when work, responsibilities and little awareness of old age that has gained ground have turned lack of time into the main obstacle.
Many people had assumed retirement as the goal of a career that was to produce. When they arrive, they realize that they still have their health and many of their physical and mental abilities, but they do not know how to share them. Many have not cultivated chores for their time released; No one has helped them develop attitudes or helped them prepare the time when society would no longer count on them as a «burden on the state» as if they had not paid their taxes during their «productive» years. Now their pensions are even in danger.
Investigating visible or veiled forms of abuse of the elderly raises the lack of relations between neighbors, the need for changes in public resources for the elderly and the damages suffered by the social fabric of our environment.