.- The president of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alejandro Goic, has said the stereotyped image of the elderly must be changed for one that is more realistic, and that the value of older adults amidst a society that exalts youth must be recovered.
“Beginning with the modern era, youthfulness began to be exalted, a certain form of beauty and of efficacious productivity, provoking a change in the way people look at being old, and in many cases, leading to a form of psychological abuse: the devaluing, marginalization and at times even scorn for the elderly,” the bishop said during a seminar for World Elder Abuse Awareness day. During his speech, Bishop Goic denounced the cultural beliefs that “facilitate the mistreatment and abuse of the elderly,” such as the idea that being successful means earning money and prestige. “A society made for mass consumption, centered on business profits, leaves out those who are not active consumers,” the bishop said.
Likewise, he warned that a society “in which violence occupies a central place in interpersonal relationships,” ends up marginalizing the weak: the elderly, women and children.
Bishop Goic emphasized that old age is a natural part of life and is the fruit of the experiences each person, a result of the decisions and steps taken throughout the years.