Are teenagers over-medicated

Green old woman

This paper was adopted by the Hamburg Greens as well as at the General Assembly of the Federal Greens in November 2015 in Berlin.

Discrimination against the elderly

Around 81 million people lived in Germany in 2013, of which around 17 million were over 65 years old, i.e. around one in five. By 2060 it will be one in three. Nowadays, being old is not just a short phase after finishing work, but a phase of life that spans decades. And makes completely new models of life necessary and possible.

Age researchers speak of up to 30 free years, a great benefit for every individual - and for society, which just has to recognize it.

Thanks to the good living conditions, we are getting older and staying fit longer. A key to the success of highly developed societies; Germany is thus entering a development process very early on that other countries still have ahead of them.

The images of age in our society are unfortunately still based on the so-called deficit model of aging from the early days of gerontological research (a theory that is based on the degradation of mental and physical functions, also with regard to intelligence, reaction, memory). But the model has long been refuted. Age itself is a construct anyway, as there is a calendar, social, psychological and biological age. What old means is a social agreement. Age must therefore be redefined.

What we know today: There is no general sudden drop in performance or interest in getting involved or participating in social life just because you have just had a milestone birthday. Older people can learn, even if their path is different than when they were young. Young people are faster, older people compensate for this with their knowledge, their experience, their knowledge of human nature. And everyone ages differently.

Therefore, age limits are unsuitable to fully utilize the know-how of an aging society.

However, these findings have not yet reached everyone.

The result for the individual: active and passive, deliberate and automatic, direct and indirect disadvantages in old age (see appendix). And for society a great deal of damage and unnecessary costs, since discrimination usually goes unnoticed and leads to decisions that are not factual.

A survey by BAGSO (Federal Working Group of Senior Citizens' Organizations), KDA (Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe) and ADS (Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency) showed that age discrimination is one of the most common grounds for discrimination in Germany, but is apparently only reported by a minority . Although many older people feel discriminated against in their role as consumers, professionals and patients.

Discrimination starts at thelinguistic level, there is talk of a tsunami of old age, an aging population or a flood of pensioners. The naming from the silver ager to the best ager to old people, pensioners and senior citizens is consistently not positive.

I.m profession Older workers are disadvantaged in many areas compared to younger workers. Employment among 55–64 year olds has increased to 56% - but it is still much lower for women than for men and is currently 45%. Every fourth woman lives on the income of her relatives (mostly husbands), only 71% of them have an adequate pension of their own (90% for men in couples). 21% of all single women over 65 have to get by on an income of less than 900 euros, almost 15% are at risk of poverty.

This means that they often cannot live independently, are incapacitated in care relationships or are isolated because they are e.g. B. have no money to take advantage of cultural offers. It can also mean being housed in old people's and nursing homes against one's will if the alternatives are not affordable. Older people with low incomes are therefore particularly disadvantaged. The proportion of people who have to get by on a low income in old age will increase.

This also applies to people in particularMigration background to, which make up almost 9% of the elderly (before the wave of refugees). They are more often unemployed and often not trained for the German market. Almost a third of the over 65-year-olds among them are therefore at risk of poverty. However, the more educated and better cared for a person, the longer they live, which can mean a difference of up to nine years.

Our society also promotes fulfilling worklifelong learning Prerequisite - regardless of whether it is gainful employment or volunteer work. In-company training and further education are often denied to older people, 41% of the companies in Germany do not employ any employees who are older than 55 years (5th report on the elderly, 2005). There must be no disadvantage in access to employment, especially not shortly before retirement. The aim must be to reach the pension limit with full employment. In the USA, it is no longer allowed to ask about age in job interviews. We therefore welcome the initiative of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency - ADS, to anonymize applications.

In addition, scientists and practitioners have long agreed that mixed-age teams are particularly successful. If necessary, older people can pass on knowledge and experience that would otherwise be lost to younger people.

We therefore rely on diversity in every respect!

We neednew work structuresin order not to let the work pressure become too great - pressure is a great burden, especially for the elderly (IAB). At the moment we learn in our youth, work for decades and have free time in old age. Mixing the phases would be good for everyone. That would also relieve young families.

It would be important to make thePensionslimit on the basis of the fixed standard retirement age. In Scandinavian countries there are already demographic change-adapted structures from which we can learn.

Banks should be theirsLendingMake it transparent and not exclude older people. Particularly important for everyone who wants to continue working independently. Just as unacceptable: the exclusion ofInsurance benefits. In general, there should be no age limit for access to goods (e.g. when paying by invoice for online purchases) and services.

The offer ofmedical services must not depend on age. Due to wrong images of age, older people are not treated appropriately. B. no (care-avoiding) rehab, certain operations are no longer covered by the health insurance. Many diseases are dismissed as typical of age and not treated - such as depression, for example, which can also be treated in old age. Greater networking of geriatric rehab and long-term care insurance is necessary. The principle of prevention and rehabilitation before care has not yet been implemented (6th report on the elderly). Research and staff must come to a positive image of age through training.

Barrier-freeLiving Has seldom been an issue for architects so far, so many older people are simply locked out of public life. A certain proportion of apartments that are newly built or renovated would also have to be designed to be age-appropriate. After all, two thirds of 90-year-olds live at home. Only 5% of all seniors live in accessible households. However, around 25% would be willing to move and invest in accessibility. In the future, the federal states and municipalities will be called upon to promote a larger proportion of age-appropriate and low-barrier living space. Programs to promote social housing and age-appropriate and barrier-free living contribute to this. The KfW program [1] "Age-appropriate renovation" should be extended and increased in volume. By swapping apartments, large apartments would often become free that the elderly no longer need, but the younger ones all the more urgently.

ForVolunteering, Lay judges, appraisers, municipal electoral officials, there must be no age limits. Just as little as with churches, clubs, associations. You can discuss at regular intervals whether and how long it makes sense to continue working. Those who drop out should be contacted regularly by the active members.

Older people must be able to afford voluntary work, i. H. there may be no costs for unpaid work (e.g. for public transport).

The willingness of older people toto be civic (e.g. currently on refugee support) is a clear sign that you want to actively shape society. Many want to spend the years they have gained independently and with meaningful tasks.

A new concept ofjob It would be good to include the various forms: gainful employment, family work and voluntary work. Family work and volunteering would be upgraded.

Older people are not allowedinvisible They have to appear naturally everywhere, in magazines, films, in advertising; they should be able to get involved in culture, politics and business and should also be heard.

An extension of Article 3 of the Basic Law using the term “age” would be desirable.

Our life plans no longer fit our lifetime. It mustPrograms that create a positive atmosphere for older people in organizations, authorities and companies. Prohibitions and laws alone are not enough, tolerance and new images of old age cannot simply be prescribed. Politics is lagging behind demographic change and culture is lagging behind our lifestyle. That needs to change!

[1] The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau - KfW is an institution under public law and the largest national promotional bank. With its global loan program, it supports the federal government in the areas of building, living, saving energy, financing municipal infrastructure, promoting small and medium-sized enterprises, etc.

Appendix: What is Age Discrimination? (from: Application by Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen in the NRW state parliament, counteracting age discrimination - promoting participation and reducing social disadvantage, 2009)

  1. Age discrimination describes a social and economic disadvantage of individuals or groups of people based on their age. It is made more difficult for those affected to participate appropriately in working life and in social life.

According to the EU Equal Treatment Directives, direct age discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably than another person in a comparable situation due to their age. Indirect discrimination is when apparently neutral regulations, criteria or procedures can put certain people at a particular disadvantage because of their age.

"Discrimination in particular because of gender, race, skin color, ethnic or social origin, genetic characteristics, language, religion or belief, political or other beliefs, membership of a national minority, property, birth , disability, age or sexual orientation are prohibited.“ (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union, Article II-81, Paragraph 1)

  1. In Germany, the General Equal Treatment Act came into force in August 2006. Disadvantages based on age are therefore no longer permissible within the scope of this law. With the discussion about the implementation of the European anti-discrimination directives in German legislation, the subject of age discrimination has gained attention. However, the discussion has largely been reduced to areas of application in working life and areas of application of the German Anti-Discrimination Act.

Christa Möller, Hamburg, October 15, 2015

Ute Schmitz, North Rhine-Westphalia, 2009


- Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research (publisher), potential analysis for age-appropriate housing adaptation, 2014.

- Recommendations of the expert commission of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

- Joint appeal to the Federal Government (German veto against Europe-wide protection against discrimination, July 22, 2015)

- Helmut Rau, Demographic Change and Personnel Management, on the collective agreement on seniority

- Too young? Too old? Age discrimination as a challenge, documentation of the specialist congress on September 18, 2012, Environmental Forum Auferstehungskirche Berlin

- Discrimination based on age, expertise from Prof. Dr. Klaus Rothermund, Jena and Dr. Felipe Temming, LL.M. , Cologne 2010 (?)

- Proposal by Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen in the NRW state parliament to counter age discrimination - promote participation and reduce social disadvantage, 2009

- IAB short report 172015, Current analyzes from the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research, How older employees perceive work demands and rewards, Silke Tophoven and Karolin Hiesinger

- Lectures and press conferences at the German Seniors' Day by Prof. Ursula Lehr, HelpAge Germany and others, Frankfurt 2015

- 6th report on the elderly by the Federal Government 2010

Hanne Schweitzer, Office against Age Discrimination,

- Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe, Age-Appropriate Living - at Home or in New Forms of Living, Ursula Kremer-Preiß,

- Experiences of crime and violence in the lives of older people,

Summary of key results of a study on the dangers of older people and people in need of care, Thomas Görgen, Sandra Herbst, Sandra Kotlenga, Barbara Nägele, Susann Rabold, Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, 2009

Further questions we should talk about:

- Does it make sense to demand more protection in companies for older employees? Many experts complain that this makes the hurdle too high to hire older people, because they cannot be terminated.

What about driver's license, car insurance, rental car? The BAGSO calls for an empirical study.

- When will we take up the age discrimination motion from 2013 to the UN? Human rights for older people need to be strengthened. So far, age discrimination has only been a little part of everything. In 2012 there was a survey in 36 countries: 43% of the elderly complained about violence, 53% about a lack of social services, 63% about poor health.

- Do we also want to establish the right to non-violent care (as in Hesse)? The carers are getting older, the well-groomed too. Both often have potential for aggression, the carers are overwhelmed (investigation by the police school, 2009: 53% of the carers had problem behavior in the last year). You need detailed advice in order to be able to better protect the well-groomed. At the moment, many old people are being delivered to homes and over-medicated. Building a charing community that supports each other.

- So far, anti-violence training has only been available for women and children, not for the elderly.