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Pensioners under 80 living better, says new survey

Old age pensioners in Switzerland are living longer and better, according to a new study. However, it points to increasing problems for people over 80 years of age.

This content was published on January 12, 2000 - 15:11

Old age pensioners in Switzerland are living longer and better, according to a new study. However, it points to increasing problems for people over 80 years of age.

People under 80 are in better health, economically better off and more mobile than 15 years years ago, reported the Swiss National Research Foundation at a media conference in Berne. It presented the results of a study on the situation of old people in cantons Geneva and Valais between 1979-1994 carried out by the gerontology department of Geneva university.

The improvement in health and living conditions for the under 80s is due to improved education, reaching a higher professional level, and economic growth, said the Foundation. The number of people under 80 in special homes or hospitals has fallen in the past 15 years.

People over 80 are, however, living in "a precarious situation". About 20 per cent of them live in special homes and suffer from serious illness. A quarter of the over-80s rely on outside help and a quarter suffer from depression, says the study.

Poverty is also a major problem in this category. One in five pensioners over 80 live in relative poverty - twice as many as those under 80.

From staff and wire reports

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