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People urged to contact the elderly

As Switzerland marks the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, the organisation Pro Senectute is highlighting how important social contact is for the old.

The group, which represents older people, has called on the population to make a telephone call to an older relative or friend.

“The reaction to our campaign last year has confirmed that many older people suffer from social isolation, both in the city and in the country,” said Werner Schärer, director of Pro Senectute, in a statement.

Social contact is very important for quality of life, added the organisation. It went on to say that the campaign underlined the importance of the wellbeing, dignity and rights of older people in Switzerland.

The number of elderly people is on the rise in Switzerland. According to figures published by the Federal Statistics Office last year, people aged 64 and over made up 5.8 per cent of the Swiss population in 1900 and 16.4 per cent in 2007.

The proportion of people aged 80 or older climbed from 0.5 per cent in 1900 to 4.7 per cent in 2007.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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