Rabat- According to a study by the Ministry of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, the number of people aged 60 and over will almost double by the year 2050, to an estimated 10 million. The over-60 population by then will represent 25 percent of the nation’s population.
The study entitled, “The new life of elderly people in Morocco in the face of social change,” revealed that aging and the elderly will be a principle component of the kingdom’s future demographic profile.
Despite this aging trend in the population, the study further reveals that medical and social support, already a current challenge today, will continue and grow in the coming years. The challenge of caring for the elderly will become more acute particularly in a context marked by a growing nuclearization of households, especially in urban areas, and the growth of residential mobility among young and middle-age Moroccans. Additionally, the current challenges facing public health systems will have a significant impact on the care of older people in the coming years.
“Households will have more financial difficulties because of the expenses of people in this age category, usually judged to be non-productive,” notes the joint report.
The situation is compounded by the fact that 64 percent of the elderly do not have their own resources, and 34 percent survive solely on an income barely covering their daily needs. Without family solidarity and support, the majority of the elderly suffer significant hardship in economic terms, indicates the study.
The Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, Bassima Hakkaoui, stressed in an October 2017 report that Morocco is far from being able to cope with the needs of its aging population.
The report presented a troubling snapshot on the conditions facing Morocco’s elderly. Poor life conditions, a lack of medical and financial assistance, neglect by their children, and a fragile life expectancy from health conditions like diabetes or hypertension have lead more than 7 percent of people over the age of 60 to feel that they are victims of “social exclusion.”
In order to meet the resulting challenges arising from this analysis, the ministry recommends a number of measures: improving the supply of collective accommodation for the elderly, strengthening the provision of health care, developing of social assistance training, monitoring and evaluating an integrated public policy regarding the elderly. The ministry report called for mobilizing sufficient resources to improve the conditions of the elderly in homes and social welfare institutions.