HAVANA._ To date, life expectancy in Cuba is 78.5 years, a demographic reality that requires the strengthening of legal protection for the elderly as a means to ensure their quality of life.

The 13th International Longevity Seminar was recently held in Havana in order to address this and “other senior adult“ related issues in both Cuba and Latin America as a whole.

During his lecture “The Rights of the Elderly,“ the first of the event, Dr. Alberto Fernández recalled that, in the case of Cuba, this sector of the population is protected by the Constitution itself.

To date, life expectancy in Cuba is 78.5 years, a demographic reality that requires the strengthening of legal protection for the elderly as a means to ensure their quality of life.The head of the Ministry for Health‘s Department for the Elderly, Social Assistance, and Mental Health, said that article 50 of the constitution states that every citizen has the right to healthcare and the protection of their health.

Fernández, also vice president of the event‘s organizing committee, nevertheless warned that in order to ensure optimum care for the oldest members of the community, it is necessary to improve the skills of the primary health care teams, known as the Family Doctor and Nurse.

He also referred to the importance of developing the Nursing School and of improving the condition of institutions like the Elderly Homes and Grandparents‘ Houses.

The official commented that this year the Ministry of Health would receive 66 million pesos over their agreed budget in order to accelerate the building and renovation of these centers.

He pointed out that efforts are being made to bolster the socialization program known as Grandparents‘ Clubs, of which there are currently more than 13,822 nationwide.

Meanwhile, Jesús Fernández, methodologist for the Cuban Institute for Sport, Physical Education, and Recreation highlighted the importance of this project in the promotion of physical exercise among the elderly.

He reiterated that Cuba is the second most aging country in Latin America and that the two most effective measures regarding healthy aging -- as ratified by the World Health Organization -- are a healthy diet and physical activity.

During the seminar in question, the expert explained that amid the many advantages of physical exercising is the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits and routines.

He also said that the practice of physical exercise by older adults enhances the sector‘s socialization and that this has been shown to aid in the battle against diseases of both physical and neurological nature such as Parkinson and Alzheimer.

The methodologist said that his institution, in keeping with these policies, had undertaken a survey of 22,000 adults from seven national provinces, resulting in the creation of Cuban Guidelines for Physical Exercise for this sector, which are presently in the implementation stage.

Held under the slogan “How to live happily and healthily for 120 years or more,“ the 13th International Longevity Seminar was attended by 200 delegates from Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Share on FB Share on TT