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June 2012

Lecture by María-Angeles Durán: «We will spend more years of our lives old than young»

As part of the 2nd FGCSIC workshop on Ageing, held on 25 April at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, María-Angeles Durán, a CSIC research professor, discussed the meaning and implications of living an “a society of old people” which has not planned for an ever longer old age. The title of her lecture announced the conundrum: “We will spend more years of our lives old than young.” One of the main points she made was the need to start doing research into the new forms of social organisation that the new reality will impose on us: “You can’t tell parents to have more children to pay the bill for treatment for Alzheimer’s and it is impossible to get involved in politics, research or other activities when we have to look after several old people. According to María-Angeles Durán, the capitalist system views old people as a burden and a problem, a problem that the conventional economy cannot solve.

She also pointed out how ageing and illness need to be looked at in a different way from how they have been so far. “Our identity [as elderly people] is that of an old person. I can’t have the identity of a young person imposed on me. And we live in a culture that wants to impose a young identity on us when our identity is old or soon-to-be old.”

Published in No. 09

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  • Lychnos. ISSN: 2171-6463 (Spanish print edition),
    2172-0207 (English print edition), 2174-5102 (online edition)
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