A Question of Age: The Impact of Covid-19 in Brazil’s Elderly Community

By Regan Coleman and Chloe Kerpius

Overcrowded hospitals in Brazil during the pandemic. 


Discrimination has increased in Brazil with the COVID-19 pandemic and the elderly community. This has led to many issues for all individuals in the country, but the largest group of individuals being affected by this would be older persons. The country has struggled with this disease like many others however, they are still at a very high risk level for COVID-19. Elderly persons are at a higher risk of more severe symptoms that could lead to bigger issues and more severe illnesses that last longer upon contracting this disease. This podcast will examine why Brazil has failed to provide adequate care during the pandemic, specifically to its elderly population by ignoring health recommendations when around this population. We will discuss how Brazil’s current administration and the existence of inequality impact the healthcare system. Lastly, we will identify what groups within Brazil’s elderly population have been most affected and what Brazil can do moving forward to ensure proper care.

For further reading see these sources

Alves, V. P., de Oliveira, R. C., & Gregori, D. (2021). Non-communicable chronic diseases: Mortality of older adult citizens in Brazil and Italy before the Covid-19 pandemic. Health Policy OPEN, 2. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/10.1016/j.hpopen.2021.100041

Cable News Network. (2021). Video shows dire conditions of Brazil’s health system . CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/01/americas/brazil-healthcare-workers-covid-19-intl-latam/index.html. 

Canineu, M. L., & Munoz, C. (2021, October 27). The Toll of Bolsonaro’s Disastrous Covid-19 Response. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/27/toll-bolsonaros-disastrous-covid-19-response# 

Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade, Nekehia T. Quashie, & Luisa Farah Schwartzman. (2022). Coresidence increases the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 among older Brazilians. BMC Geriatrics, 22(1), 1–16. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/10.1186/s12877-022-02800-6

‘Hug curtain’ allows elderly safe cuddles from Covid-19 isolation at Brazil nursing home . (2020). South China Morning Post. https://www.scmp.com/video/coronavirus/3089245/hug-curtain-allows-elderly-safe-cuddles-covid-19-isolation-brazil-nursing. 

Kalache, A. (2020, November 3). Covid-19 is only adding to the woes of Brazil’s older people. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/little-to-celebrate-for-older-brazilians/

Leite de Moraes, C., Souza Marques, E., Peixoto Ribeiro, A., & Ramos de Souza, E. (2020). Contributions to address violence against older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. Revista Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 25, 4177–4184. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/10.1590/1413-812320202510.2.27662020

Maria Teresinha de Oliveira Fernandes, Elisa Guimarães de Figueiredo, Tatiana Cristina Lopes Vieira, Attílio Fernandes De Moro, & Roberta Andrade e Barros. (2022). Protection against COVID-19 in long-term care facilities and political and technical foundations for operation in Brazil. Geriatrics, Gerontology and Aging, 16, 1–8. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/10.53886/gga.e0220003

Oliveira de Araújo, Pricila, Guimarães Silva Freitas, Maria Yaná, Souza de Santana Carvalho, Evanilda, Moreira Peixoto, Thaís, Silva Servo, Maria Lúcia, da Silva Santana, Laiane, Macêdo dos Santos Silva, Juliana, & Vieira Moura, Jenny Caroline. (2021). Institutionalized elderly: vulnerabilities and strategies to cope with Covid-19 in Brazil. Investigación y Educación en Enfermería, 39(1), e07. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.iee.v39n1e07

Perracini, M. R., de Amorim, J., Lima, C. A., da Silva, A., Trombini-Souza, F., Pereira, D. S., Pelicioni, P., Duim, E., Batista, P. P., Dos Santos, R. B., de Lima, M., & REMOBILIZE Research Network (CANSORT-SCI) (2021). Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Life-Space Mobility of Older Adults Living in Brazil: REMOBILIZE Study. Frontiers in public health, 9, 643640. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.643640

Sousa Pegorari, M., Gonçalves Ohara, D., Pena Matos, A., & Pereira Nunes Pinto, A. C. (2020). Covid-19: perspectives and initiatives in older adults health context in Brazil. Revista Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 25(9), 3459–3464. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232020259.21622020

Traveler’s Health: Covid 19 in Brazil. (2022, March 24). Center For Disease Control and Prevention. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-brazil

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