December 2, 2013

More people live longer, but their quality of life may actually worsen because too often the elderly are not respected and, when they get ill, they may be abandoned, said speakers at a Vatican conference.

In fact, emotional, social and spiritual support often has not kept up with the advancements made by health care and medicine, several speakers said.

“No technology, no medicine can ever replace what the most fragile people need” like loving care and attention, said Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant’Egidio Community, a lay movement that works with the poor and disenfranchised.

Riccardi was one of the speakers at an international conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry Nov. 21-23.