Italy is one of the oldest countries in Europe and in the world and now it is also one of the first countries that are fighting against COVID-19. In our country, the increasing life expectancy (80.5 for males and 84.9 for females, with a total life expectancy of 82.9) has led to very positive consequences for health and the well-being of elderly people: a very high number of older adults lives and acts independently in their daily life, even if they have one or more than one chronic disease. In the time of COVID-19′s outbreak in Italy, the focus of the media was on elderly people for two main reasons. First, many older people demonstrated a very high civic sense and they were helping society to fight against the pandemic. Second, also in Italy, like in China, the older adults are at higher risk in being infected with COVID-19 and if they get ill, they have a higher risk of death. The balance previously achieved between age-related disorders and a good quality of life and good health is now under high pressure. It is very important to protect elderly people from infection, but also it is important to respect them and to support them in this complex situation. There is a great risk of “ageism”. In agreement with Lloyd-Sherlock and colleagues (2020), in this editorial we propose some hints of analysis, starting from the ongoing experience in Italy.
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