Society only cares about the individual insofar as he is profitable. Young people know that. Their anxiety when they enter social life coincides with the anguish of the elderly, as they are excluded from it.
Simone de Beauvoir
This thought by the French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir is part of the book, published in 1970. In the book she critically analyzes the role of the elderly from the beginning of civilization until the 1970s. The above quote reveals a lot about our perception about of old age and the role we assign to the elderly in contemporary social organization. In a society where the main objective is to make a profit, the value of people is tied to how productive they can be in maintaining the current social and economic gears.
This problem becomes more and more complex when one realizes the increase in longevity, caused by the advent of medicine. We are moving towards a world in which many more people are going to cross the sixty years, however we are not prepared for such a situation.
The aging of the population represents an almost inevitable stress on the health system to the government, since many elderly people have chronic health problems, in addition to greater pressure on social security, given that not all elderly people are able to continue in the market. of work.
However, the issue goes beyond the governmental sphere, we live in a world that is not thought for the elderly. Whether because the phenomenon of increased longevity is somewhat recent, until the beginning of the twentieth century the life expectancy of Brazilians was around 33 years, or because the society in which we live teaches us to belittle old age, passing it down from generation to generation. generation the idea that the elderly have only the passive role of making room for the young and waiting for their time.
In the film, released in 2015 and directed by Nancy Meyers, Robert de Niro plays a retired man who still feels ready to work and who longs to learn about the digital universe. The co-protagonist, played by Anne Hathaway, is the founder of a clothing sales website, whose company has just joined a senior internship program.
In the beginning, there is a distrust on the part of the character in the possibility of an elderly person being able to assist her with tasks that almost always involve digital media. Despite Robert de Niro’s character, Ben Whittaker, he manages to win the trust and appreciation of his boss, Jules Ostin, through his professional and personal knowledge acquired throughout his life that ended up helping the co-protagonist’s personal growth.
The inclusion of the elderly in the job market is an issue beyond Hollywood works of fiction. The insertion of this population in the work context, by itself, already represents a great challenge, especially if we take into account that many functions have been automated or require basic knowledge in digital media.
Art. 26. The elderly person has the right to exercise professional activity, respecting the physical, intellectual and psychological conditions.
The above excerpt is part of the Elderly Statute, a text approved in 2003 and which represented an important advance in the defense of the rights of the elderly in Brazil. Among the many rights ensured by this document is the right to exercise professional activity. Nevertheless, the presence of the elderly in the current job market is still low. The main reason, as has been said before, is the failure to adapt to the demands of an increasingly digital market.
Realizing the difficulty of complying with the law, we approached the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, which is responsible for the issue of the rights of the elderly, and asked about the existence of any project by the federal government aimed at inserting the elderly in the market. workplace and in the digital environment.
The Ministry informed us of the existence of the Viver Program – Active and Healthy Aging, which aims to include the elderly in digital media, thus offering them greater autonomy. In addition to the technological issue, the project covers the areas of education, health and physical mobility. The Ministry also stated that, despite not having a program aimed exclusively at integrating the elderly into the labor market, it believes that inclusion in the digital world can be of great help to the elderly person interested in entering into work activities.
Thus, there is an urgent need on the part of the State to create mechanisms necessary for the inclusion of the elderly in the labor market. Not excluding the role of civil society in policing their behavior towards the elderly population, seeking, above all, respect and improving the quality of life for these individuals.