Gerontology in the developing Brazil: Achievements and challenges in public policies

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Abstract

Aim:

In the last three decades, the segment of population aged 60 years and older has more than doubled in Brazil. People aged 80 years and older are expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the near future. This aim of this study was to analyze the legal structures currently in place in Brazil and to provide a framework for care policies and practices towards older-adults.

Methods:

This article focuses on past and present major socioeconomic burdens on this segment of the Brazilian population as well as on public achievements to overcome inequities.

Results:

Both the public health and the social security systems have been directed to provide preferential assistance to the aged. Nonetheless, the elderly remain the most impoverished segment of Brazil and carry the burden of an overall lack of specialized services. Moreover, socioeconomic inequalities and population diversity in Brazil affects elderly care, adding complexity to this unique scenario.

Conclusion:

Brazil has adopted legal hallmarks that substantially shifted public practices towards the elderly segment from a philanthropic status to a legitimate right for care and assistance. The demographic transition that took place provides an opportunity for innovative solutions in public policies for older adults in a developing economic environment.

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