Social representations of care and aging in Brazil and Italy

ABSTRACT: This study aimed to compare the social representations of Brazilian and Italian participants about old age and care of elderly people. It were interviewed 40 people over 65 years old, 20 Brazilian and 20 Italian. The results showed that social representations of old age and care of elderly emphasize the importance keeping one’s autonomy and keeping active, bringing the context of disease and dependence as something unwanted. The experience of old age and the care of the elderly seem more difficult in disease situations in which the grievances imposes the need for a "caregiver", which undermines the independence of the elderly. It is necessary to implement education policies for health and aging, which take into account the needs of the elderly.