EVENT: BETER AGEING FRANCE – BRAZIL

On November 07, 2019, the Symposium on Better Ageing France-Brazil tooks place. It was an event in collaboration with the Brazilian Academy of Medicine and the Foundation of the French Academy of Medicine (FAM), with as patron ORPEA Group. An audience of about 150 people came to listen and ask questions to the speakers.

With the presence of H.E. Mr Michel Miraillet, Ambassador of France to Brazil, and the Consul General of France in Rio de Janeiro, Mr Jean-Paul Guihaumé.

The world’s population is aging, and the social, societal and economic consequences by 2050 will be significant. The quality of the interventions and exchanges of this day highlighted the immense challenges related to this ageing that await our 2 countries in the coming years, but also the existing solutions. These are structured around 4 points:

1. Prospects for an ageing population

The increase in the elderly French population (>60 years old) has gradually spread over most of the 20th century (a peak is expected with the generation of bay-boomers in the 21st century), while for Brazil, this increase in the elderly population has only begun 20 years ago but more importantly. The problems affecting Europe regarding ageing should affect Brazil a few decades apart, hence this Symposium. This ageing has seen the birth of two new generations; the “young adults” and “old adults”, in addition to children and the elderly.

2.Geriatrics situation

When Geriatrics becomes an increasingly popular specialty in France, there are only a few geriatric courses in Brazil. Although it is improving, there are currently only 1807 geriatricians registered in the Brazilian medical register (for 11.57% of the population >65 years old). Brazil has even regressed in recent years in geriatric training because the State has withdrawn part of its financial support for this training.

3. Financing the care of the elderly subject

The financing of old age in France is partly the responsibility of the State, partly for the patient. But the law is changing with the development of home helpers, so that they are more likely to be taken care of by the State.

In Brazil, there is no national network for the care of the elderly. Funding is partly provided by the regions and municipalities, but above all by families, which can be a problem in the event of a lack of resources. There are effective geriatric health plans, but they are private and must be funded by relatives.

4. Prevention policies

French and Brazilian geriatricians agree that we must age independently, and that this autonomy requires better prevention of old age. However, it is also necessary to prevent the care of the elderly subject, which is almost inevitable at some point in life. France has developed specialized institutions for the care of the elderly such as EHPAD or hospitals, with great success, as well as home help. These institutions are generally well equipped with innovative technologies for the elderly (which can also help in home care).

In Brazil, a prevention campaign to better support the aging of the population has been launched in recent years, but it is disputed because one of these measures called for the “failure” of the elderly. However, this measure would uproot them and keep them away from their loved ones.

Another important point discussed was violence against the elderly. There is a desire in Brazil to reduce this violence, which is very numerous. There was a first policy to prevent this violence, which was widely welcomed, but unfortunately the budget allocated to dealing with this type of aggression has decreased..

Finally, the Symposium could not deal with the prevention of the elderly subject without mentioning vaccination. In France, vaccination campaigns exist for the elderly, especially in specialized institutions such as EHPADs, where the risk of contagion is high (flu…). For Brazil, the problem remains the same, vaccination campaigns exist, but not for all segments of the population.

You can find the entire Symposium on Youtube:

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

To close this Symposium, a medal and a diploma were awarded to His Excellency the French Ambassador to Brazil, the French Academy of Medicine and the FAM.

The FAM would like to thank the Brazilian Academy of Medicine for its support in organizing this event, thus maintaining the existing Franco-Brazilian medical collaboration for many years.