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Take Up Your Sticks and Walk!

Today a rumpus was caused during a plenary debate in the Madeira Assembly concerning a proposal made by the PSD to  transform an old abandoned school in São Jorge into a senior citizen home or a long term integrated inpatient unit which was deemed as not feasible and impractical.

Apparently, the proposal centres on the transformation of  disused school buildings, many of which are located on the north side of the island, into OAP homes has been under discussion for some time and it appears that the Regional Government is now poised to commit themselves to this plan.

During her presentation, Cláudia Perestrelo stated that in the future, approximately 50 years from now, there will be a significant decrease in the number of young people living on the island, to around 16,000 compared to today’s figure of 34,000, while the number of elderly is expected to rise from 42,000 to 60,000. As such there will be a need for care homes although not all elderly residents will require one especially those who are fit and healthy.  At the moment, Santana has been earmarked as a potential area due to its accessibility, although she did stress that other potential sites and properties have been looked at.

However, PS deputy Élvio Jesus slammed the presentation saying that he “didn’t know of any structure that has been converted that has worked, and that it is not a solution to move the elderly from one side of the island to another, or transport them to another island!” 

Unfortunately, it would appear that the PSD are stunned by the negative response their proposal has received, especially as the idea was first mooted by opposition parties.

It is a true sign of social collapse, when the elderly are treated as an inconvenient commodity, and hidden in the darkest recesses of society.

Samantha Gannon

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