4 in 10 elderly excluded on the basis of their age from getting the best health-care, globally. Carta of Florence, the first manifesto against health ageism, released

FLORENCE, Italy - 9th April, 2024 - Fondazione Menarini, in the forefront of the fight against discrimination in health-care of the elderly, has contributed to the development of the Carta of Florence. Presented at the "Anti-ageism Alliance" congress, organized under the patronage of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics, and the European Geriatric Medicine Society, the Carta of Florence is the first worldwide manifesto against ageism in health-care.  

The document published in the journal of European Geriatric Medicine, developed by the world's top experts, including WHO representatives and coordinated by Andrea Ungar, Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Florence, identified 12 concrete actions to combat age-related bias in health-care and improve quality and length of life for the elderly.  

"Ageism is a global problem: one in two people around the world is moderately or highly ageist toward older people, with a really serious impact. It decreases physical and mental health and increases social isolation," says Alana Officer, head of the department on Demographic Change at WHO and of the Healthy Ageing campaign. “WHO is leading a global campaign to combat ageism and build a broad coalition so that we all work together to eliminate it."  

"Although many health care providers around the world are working to ensure that older people receive the most advanced treatments, 40% of older people are still excluded from the best health-care practices and from clinical trials for drug testing, with a negative effect on longevity," stresses Ungar, coordinator of the Carta.  

"The actions proposed in the Carta of Florence to reverse the trend focus, above all, on the need to prioritize the elderly in emergency rooms, on redesigning hospitals to make them more age-friendly, reducing isolation and bedridden immobility of patients," says Luigi Ferrucci, coordinator of the Florence Charter along with Andrea Ungar and Scientific Director of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.  

"Fundamental," adds Ungar, "is a change in the approach to the care of the elderly, who cannot be treated 'piecemeal,' but must be followed with an overall view by the geriatrician as a doctor of complexity."


Media contact:
Valeria Speroni Cardi

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