Solidarity has no age – The Police with the elderly
The “solidarity has no age” is a program and is based on the results of the 2011 Census, in which the elderly population in Portugal (+65 years) represents around 19% of the total population. It has been found that in the las decade the number of older people living alone or living exclusively with others aged 65 years or older has increased about 28%.
The increase observed between 2001 and 2011 evidenced an exponential progression of situations prone to social isolation, mainly, population with the characteristics mentioned above.
To face this increasing problem, this program was created, with the following objectives:
- Determine the number of elderly at risk in the Public Security Police (PSP) area of responsibility;
- Determine the location of elderly people who live in the exclusive company of elderly people and who are at the same time at risk;
- Indicate to the competent authorities the circumstances that lead to the urgent support appeal, processing the referral of the elderly;
- Propose partnerships with entities that can, in some way, minimize the temporal gap that the elderly person experiences in solitude;
- Develop an increased sense of security among the elderly population, through a greater police presence in the areas with the highest crime rates committed against them, as well as in areas where there is a greater concentration of this age group.
To the accomplishment of these missions and in the signage of the elderly, it is essential to carry out a risk assessment, which should consider the following risk factors:
- Repeated victims of crimes;
- Economic and financial insufficiency;
- Lack of autonomy (physical and / or mental disabilities);
- Severe clinical picture (lack of medical and family support);
- Full social exclusion (closure at home);
- No network of contacts (no one to turn to in case of need / urgency like family members or neighbors).
In 2014, 3620 new seniors were identified, of which 1076 were at risk and 1552 were referred to social support. As of 2015, 3,479 new elderly were identified, of which 1128 were at risk and 1327 were referred. Lastly, in 2016, 2242 new seniors were identified, 904 of whom were at risk and 824 were referred.
The project started in 2012 and is still ongoing.
Last review: October 2017.