Mexico is aging, 14 percent of Mexicans over 60: UNAM


Photo: provided by UNAM

The number of older people in Mexico is growing rapidly because, according to the National Survey of Employment and Employment National Institute of Statistics and Geography, in the second quarter of 2022, 17 million 958 thousand 707 people aged 60 years and over lived in Mexico; that is, 14 percent of the total population of the country.

In addition, more than half of this population group, 56 percent, were between the ages of 60 and 69, and the percentage decreases with age: 30 percent are in the range of 70 to 79 years, and 14 percent are in the range of people from 80 to 79 years. more, says the autonomous state body.

As part of the Grandparents’ Day, which is celebrated on August 28, Guadalupe Canyongo Leonan academic from UNAM’s National School of Social Work (ENTS), warned that these numbers officially define us as an aging country.

She is also a professor at the Center for Studies and Research in Social Work at Gerontologyindicates that as a society we have made older people invisible, undervalued and discriminated against.

Our social duty to this population, he argues, is to work collectively to make it visible, not to belittle or ridicule it; on the contrary, it must be recognized that they have the right to health, education, a life free from violence, the use of places for recreation, etc.

He recalled that on January 10, 2023 it was published in the journal Federation Official Journal Signing and ratification by Mexico of the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Older Persons: “Now their rights are ratified not only by our Constitution, but also by the said international document, which implies that governments, through their institutions, are obliged to act in the interests of this population group.”

On occasion national day of the elderlywhich is celebrated on August 28, Canongo Leon emphasizes that until a few years ago it was believed that this is a group that is passively in the last stage of its life, but today we know that this is a large population group that is growing rapidly and whose life expectancy, according to national and international data, projections, does not is. It is as short as it was believed, even the previous stages, such as childhood or adolescence, could even be shorter than old age itself.

Currently, the life expectancy of Mexicans is from 72 to 74 yearsand for Mexican women it is from 76 to 77although this longevity depends on various factors.

It is mistakenly believed that they are a social problem due to their numerical dimension, which is incorrect, since the “difficulty” is not in quantity, but in attention and planning for the necessary conditions, so that this population will cease to have an impact on the economy, health systems and education of the country.

“We have not prepared for healthy aging, especially in the preventive field, because we are more involved in curative health activities that are regularly associated with this population.

UnfortunatelyFor the vast majority of people, thoughts about aging and old age are synonymous with addiction, physical and mental illness, ”the expert said.

In this regard, it is mentioned that in 2022 the top three causes of death for older people in the country were: diseases cheart disease, diabetes and cancer; affects that are the result of inappropriate lifestyles, such as sedentary lifestyles and poor stress management, are preventable and there are strategies to treat them.

There are indicators that show that something can be done to generally improve the living conditions of this age group, in recent times. National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy announced that in 2016, 42.5 percent of the elderly lived in poverty, but by 2020 this figure will decrease to 37.9 percent.

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