“Let’s save our elderly!” The proposals put forward by the Community of Sant’Egidio to protect the most vulnerable people from heat and social isolation

Over the last years the heat waves together with isolation caused the rise of 50 percent of the mortality rate among the over eighty years old people.

The President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, reminded that at a press conference which subject was Let’s Save Our Elderly from Heat and Isolation. He also said: «In Italy there are nine million elderly who live without any younger people around. Five million of them live in couple, but four million are totally alone». «This is a time of great frailty. The heat wave adds on the weakness which is due to isolation. So, we are here to alert the Italian citizens, as well as the national and local institutions, that we are in a time of great and serious trouble for the most vulnerable people».
It takes everyone’s help to solve this kind of problems. «The older population has been already hit by COVID-19 in an unbelievable, exorbitant and tremendous manner. Therefore, we would like to alert the Italian population so that they mobilize to support the elderly and protect them».
Impagliazzo has also broached the subject of the nursing home and the other institutions where elderly live. «The life of the older people in nursing homes or asylums is a tricky and painful matter even when those homes are run according to the regulations. But there are many illegal too. They are extemporaneous homes, where – we are informed – the people are abused and scarcely fed. There are even issues of human rights violations.

The institutionalization of the elderly is a factor that can cause damage to their health and their life in general. Therefore, we are very happy that the Italian Government is working to move to different forms of assistance: no longer institutionalization but more home care».
There are homes that follow not the Government regulations but the discretion of those who run them. «We have ascertained that in more than 240 homes in Italy – 70 of them are in Lazio region – the managements act arbitrarily, ignoring that the visits have been eventually allowed by the Government. And we worry about that very much. We want to report such a situation to the relevant authorities in order to go back to the pre-COVID-19 rules. The majority of the elderly is vaccinated, just like the health workers, and they wear masks, so, despite the caution that the new variants of the virus require, we think that now it should be allowed to visit the elderly in the homes again».