There are nearly 250,000 displaced senior citizens in Colombia according to the entity charged with the reparation of victims on Monday, the International Day of the Elderly.
Experts from social and family agencies who compiled the report said that the displaced elderly are often ignored by their own families, communities and the government, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
Forced displacement means older people have to leave the rural homes and areas they have lived in for many years and compels them to move to cities. According to the report this causes great emotional, social and economic damage. These people often have low levels of education and do not know how to access aid that is available for them.
Abandonment, sickness and loneliness are the main problems for this sector of society, who live in great poverty and often sell sweets or fruit on the street in order to make a living.
The department with the highest rate of elderly displacement is Antioquia with 20.6% of the nearly quarter of a million victims based in the northern Colombian region.
The number of older people in Colombia is growing faster than any other age group, and the country has one of the most rapidly aging populations in Latin America. The UN said that 15% of Colombia’s population will be over 60 by 2030.
New challenges come with an aging population, with changes in economic needs and social structures necessary to cater for the older people.