Corona is devastating – for our views of the age

In order to save the economy from the effects of corona crisis, recommends that the Vice-the Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, a strategy: We should at least be allowed to discuss whether or not the elderly should be sacrificed. The politician said this quite literally: As a member of the Corona-risk group of over 70-Year-old he was willing to take his own death in order to allow the return of the Younger to work. Of his peers, he expected the same.

Such sounds we have not heard in this country, in this Drastic, and also in the USA there was a loud Outcry. However, in Germany, it is unmistakable that Corona changed the discourse of the age, and the Elderly – and not for Good.

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Covid-19 hits Older, but it is not a disease of old Age

Of course, there are good reasons to protect the Elderly, in particular, before infection with the new and infectious Virus. According to the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) include older persons in the circle of groups of people who have an increased risk for a severe course of the disease – the risk increases steadily from the age of about 50 to 60 years. 86 % of the in Germany up to 3. April Covid-19 of the deceased were 70 years old or older and as the average age of the Corona-dead in Germany, the RKI at the same time 82 years.

Nevertheless, The new Corona Virus is not a disease of the elderly. At risk are people with chronic diseases in all age groups. Many of the risky pre-existing conditions such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, Diabetes, or cancer are common in the Elderly. But even with them, the biological, not the chronological age – and, thus, health prevention, Sport, good nutrition for Elderly health-promoting factors are that counts. What we have points on Ill know: Covid-19 has been taken to the demographic face in front of all people between the ages of 35 and 59 years of age, including slightly more men than women. The median Age is 49 years, but there are also children and young people who were infected.

Susanne Kutz (R) heads the age and demographics of the Körber Foundation; Karin Haist the projects demographic opportunities for the future.

The measures against the Virus the life of the Elderly change

Not only the disease itself, but also as a result of the spread of Covid-19 measures taken to meet many of the Older hard. You have to live with the fear of their own infection, they are suffering but also the limitations of social encounters in a special way: Daily work contacts account for at people in the quiet, family visits are prohibited. And if people are only allowed to be with them, to your House, proposes to double the impact that the number of single-person households in Germany in all age groups over 60 years, in the last few years, 3.5 million people are on the increase – of the 75-Year-old living in Germany currently.

In your extent for the Affected, but also family members and Caregivers, it is hard to imagine the consequences of Isolation and even the inclusion of the residents of nursing homes, particularly of people with dementia are. “Strict Isolation is especially for the Elderly, poison,” says the old physician, Johannes Pantel of the University of Frankfurt, the researches to care of older people in residential and nursing homes. The Elderly were less and the psycho-social Situation is deteriorating to depressive gradients, and the risk of suicide. A foreseeable time limit of the current state of emergency was for the Older commanded.

The Corona-induced Isolation of many old people is so alarming, because loneliness not Feel that the quality and quantity of personal social contacts corresponds to their own expectations – a particular risk for people in higher age. People are in the resume is always lonely, but for 75 years, the loneliness increases sharply and continuously. And it makes you sick: the Social isolated Elderly in need of early care, suffer more mental illnesses and dementia. Loneliness also leads to increased blood pressure and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Who sits now as an older man alone and isolated in his apartment, must fear not only Corona.

And even the Die changes in the character of the pandemic. Currently, the Covid-19-pandemic upon us, as people do not want to just go from the life: a Lot of trepidation in view of the impending Overload of the health system to have a good palliative care and are afraid of a lonely death.

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The pitfalls of language: How we talk about age talk, has determined our image of old Age

In order to emphasize it: there is Nothing wrong with that science, politics and society in the Corona-pandemic special attention to the hazard and the protection of the Elderly. But our discourse should not focus one-sidedly on an old picture, the only references to the metaphor of the “risk group”. To treacherous, the dangers of Framing here is that our language affects our Thinking. The terms that we use to “age” documents, of which determine our perception. If the age is declared repeatedly and publicly to “risk” that vulnerable Older even a “herd immunity” against the population, then we associate with age, only weakness and danger – and the step-up for age discrimination is not far off. A logic that the “young and Healthy” against the “Old and sick” and which is currently in some of the comments, triggers resentment between the generations. Instead of the currently-convincing a lived solidarity of generations, the continued stigmatization of the Elderly could result as an obstacle on the path to Overcoming the pandemic to their exclusion. But what we need now is a society of solidarity.

Add to that: people are not of a certain age – and what would be a reasonable limit? 60? 70? 80? – unprotected. Older people want to be heard, because they are the best experts for the needs of their age group. Even sick or impaired Elderly want to and are able to act determined. Any attempt of a collective incapacitation of entire age cohorts is contrary to the fundamental. Civil rights apply to every age, and are to be respected. Fears of the pandemic, not by drastic measures against certain social groups to compensate. Self-determination and responsibility for the community have to go in all the generations Hand-in-Hand.

Since the recommendations of the German society for gerontology and geriatrics at the calls: “It must be found a language that people of all age groups encouraged to choose a self-determined way of a common crisis management. Currently, it is primarily talking about older people. Older people need to get even the opportunity to communicate in the public communication of their subjective view on the current Situation. Older people must be given a voice, and you also need to be self – addressed as active, decision-making and capable individuals.”

The new tale of the age of the crisis continue to write

Certainly, The old age is a phase of a vulnerable life, but to a differentiated and holistic image of ageing and the perception of the self-determined and Mature age, the experience and the expertise level inherent in and wants to return to the subject of generativity according to the society and leave.

For this balanced image of old Age that takes vulnerability and potential for true and guides us to make the chances of a long life society is active, we are setting ourselves up for many years, side by side with many comrades-in-arms from the civil society, politics, or science. We must not allow the us, the pandemic is given in addition to health national emergency and economic damage through the devaluation of an entire social group, serious social Disruptions.

Instead, we need to continue to write a new tale of the age – because the potential-oriented view on age is not a Narrative only for Heal the world-times. Even now, in the midst of the crisis, this was found to be on the edge, many of the actors involved in the Public responsibility, “older”: The Chancellor, for example, in this year of 66. And also in the civil society of all generations to act: The Recent offer to the Old your help for shopping, but also members of the older Generation get involved. Dagmar Hirche (63), founder of the Association a way out of the loneliness, gives people over 65 now access to Smartphone and Internet. And Elke Schilling (75), offers for your Berlin telephone hotline silver network against the loneliness of older people in the Corona-crisis nationwide.

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