Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Economy, health and aging

“The aging of the population and the challenges that this inevitable process presents us is a subject that from the university we have dealt with with great interest for many years now. Population aging is not a situation that affects only the elderly. It has social, cultural, economic, health and education implications, that is, it affects the entire population and various areas of human development, and, therefore, there are different areas that we must pay attention to in the context of the country. .

Through the book that bears the name of this column (Ediciones UC ), we are presented, in its first part, the international experience on the subject, and then we are introduced to the situation we live in Chile, -from the perspective of the programs for the elderly, social tourism, health development, health spending and social security-, and that ends with an analysis of the challenges, which include the costs of medicines, the use of technology and the quality of life in The aging of the population. Thus, the book invites us to rethink the issue of the health of the elderly, understanding it not as an expense but as an active investment to achieve a better old age.

“Population aging is not a situation that affects only the elderly. It has social, cultural, economic, health and education implications, that is, it affects the entire population and various areas of human development, and therefore Therefore, there are different areas to which we must pay attention in the context of the country “- Rector Ignacio Sánchez.

What is proposed is that prevention from the age of fifty would allow a better old age and, therefore, less subsequent spending on the care of the elderly. Various initiatives have emerged from UC, among which the Aging Observatory , the Conecta Mayor Foundation and the UC Center for the Study of Aging and Aging stand out , which show our commitment to contribute from the academy to the generation of public policies that address the different edges of the aging process. From the SENAMA on the other hand, it has worked to improve the quality of life of older people, incorporating various programs to promote active aging programs.

It is necessary to propose a new approach, through the need to promote active aging. That is, new behavior patterns are promoted at an early age to allow for a healthier old age. The current approach, called “acute curative”, has proven expensive and ineffective in improving the quality of life of older people. For this reason, it is necessary to change our outlook and design policies that allow us to reduce the number of fragile and vulnerable older adults, and to actively focus on prevention, which experience has shown to be technically and financially viable.

“It is necessary to change our outlook and design policies that allow us to reduce the number of frail and vulnerable older adults, and to focus actively on prevention, which experience has proven to be technically and financially viable” – rector Ignacio Sánchez.

The theme and proposals that this interdisciplinary academic analysis raises is of great relevance, since it shows us that the active aging of the elderly has a positive impact on the health and quality of life of those who have made a permanent contribution to construction. of our country ”.

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