More active life for older people

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In 2030 one fifth of the Portuguese population will be more than 65 years old.

That  was the conclusion of a report presented by Portuguese Minister  of Labour and Social Security, Vieira da Silva, during the International Conference On Active Aging, which took place in Lisbon last week.

The symposium discussed at length the impact  in the Portuguese society  when  20 % of the population will be more that 65 years old.

According to the Portuguese member of government the issue of aging population in Portugal poses a major challenge to make adequate changes and  structural planning of the society , extending to all aspects of life, from work environment, leisure, heath care  and of the citizens mobility.

One of the most important challenges is to create a more inclusive  legislation in  the labor market  to permit the access of elderly people in the new  environment that will be more and moreof participation and  input of senior citizens. The Nordic countries of Europe lead the way in this field.

The theme of the conference  being “active aging” comes in context of the population of the most advanced countries, including  Portugal, getting older, due to better access to health care, moderate eating habits and regular exercise .

Compared with 2002 the percentage of people older than 65 was 13% , has grown rapidly to today’s percentage of 15.5 % .

The paradigm affecting western Europe , far from  meaning exclusion, opens doors for  more active  and durable participation  in the society of the  experience  of the older generation  .

Jay Fernandes
Master’s Degree G. Ph. from the University of Lisbon. Academic and teacher. Television , radio and press reporter / commentator

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