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  • Benito Hernandez and his wife Maria de Jesus sit outside their home in the Tepito neighborhood in Mexico City on National Senior

    Benito Hernandez and his wife Maria de Jesus sit outside their home in the Tepito neighborhood in Mexico City on National Senior's Day, Aug. 28, 2014. | Photo: EFE

Researchers said many seniors work "until the body gives out" in order to survive due to a lack of resources.

A new academic study revealed that only 25 percent of Mexico's senior population counts on a retirement pension, with the remainder continuing to work or relying on family or community support to survive.

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The study was carried out by Veronica Montes de Oca from the Institute for Social Investigation and Marissa Vivaldo Martinez from the Zaragoza Faculty of Higher Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and was unveiled on National Senior's Day, which was celebrated Sunday.

Montes de Oca said that even among those collecting a pension, many work “until the body gives out” as the money is insufficient to meet their needs. She added that many work in the informal economy or in low-skill sectors.

“We should think that they have contributed a lot to society and they have already won their rights, which in reality they have had since birth, but they have not been recognized. That is also a big problem in Mexico and Latin America, which is changing in a positive way,” said Montes de Oca, as quoted by La Jornada.

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Montes de Oca said that the increased attention given to the needs of seniors was a sign that societal attitudes were changing.

The researcher called for a strengthened social security system for Mexico's seniors, which exceed 10 million people. She praised the work already done by the government of Mexico City, which has implemented a number of specific measures for the city's senior population.

Marissa Vivaldo Martinez said preventative universal healthcare provisions would be one important step forward.

“In general, health problems of most of the old (people) can be resolved at the first level of care,” said Vivaldo.

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