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From: Focus on health and dental care – Footsteps 42

Helping people make appropriate decisions about their own health needs

Since 1974 the Brazilian government introduced the ‘Lifelong Monthly Income’ – a pension scheme for all older people, whether or not they paid contributions. Our research has found that nearly 75% of older people in Recife actually support their whole families on this pension because the young people are unemployed.

Now older people are well treated and cared for because they have become the main support for the family and when they die the family loses this support. Before, people did not want to get old; now they are eager to reach the age (65 for women and 70 for men) when they can receive their pension.

This change has transformed the way of life and culture of people here in the northeast of Brazil. Maybe these observations may be of value for other Footsteps readers.

Yclea Cervino, Casa da Amizade – SEC, Rua Othon Paraíso, 132 Torreâo, CBP 52030-250, Recife – PB, Brazil.

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