Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, underlined the importance of active and healthy aging initiatives, in a meeting for Health Reference Centres that included the participation of Lisbon AHA (Reference Center for Active and Healthy Aging in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon) - co-cordinated by Universidade Nova de Lisboa through Professor Helena Canhão, principal investigator at CEDOC, leading the EPIDOC Unit, and coordinator of the research unit Comprehensive Health Research Centre (CHRC).
The meeting took place in Vilamoura and gathered the four national reference centres for active and healthy aging: Porto4Ageing, Ageing@Coimbra, Algarve Active Ageing as well as Lisboa AHA. The Portuguese Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, said to Lusa agency: “I see an opportunity to look at aging as an investment in the economy of wisdom and a chance for people to work in the area of active and healthy aging”.
“Over 22% of the Portuguese population is over 65”, she continued. “And the pandemic demonstrated the need to create new responses and mechanisms that promote the autonomy of people”. The meeting was the stage for discussion of responses necessary for an aging population, adaptation of social support, intergenerational relationships, home adaptation, accessibilities and transports, digital transformation and health and well-being. The centres presented some conclusions to the ministry concerning the creation of a “model for home adaptation” that promotes autonomy, of an “observatory for aging and innovative solutions” and a home support service (SALVA 4.0) that uses “new techniques to follow the elderly in their homes”.
Ana Mendes Godinho showed “pride for the work and creation of this national network” of the centres of reference, saying they became partners in the “construction of a national strategy for aging” and that the implementation of the dedicated investments to new social responses for active aging, will have an estimated cost of over 420 million euros.
Lisbon AHA, Reference Centre for Active and Healthy Aging in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, is a consortium of over 20 partners, including public entities, academics, civil society, and companies.
The Lisbon AHA Reference Center, is co-cordinated by Universidade Nova de Lisboa through Professor Helena Canhão, coordinator of the I&D unit Comprehensive Health Research Centre (CHRC). and aims to be a pioneer in innovative digital solutions that improve the lives of aging populations. Its main objective is to establish strong ties between partners, which allow the sharing of good practices and the construction of collaborations, to maximize results and reduce the risks associated with investment in innovation. The organization of a region as a reference centre aims to act as a catalyst for growth in that same region.
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Professor Helena Canhão (third on the left) and Minister Ana Mendes Godinho (fifth on the left)