A «fundamental» center was created in Loulé to improve care for the elderly

Active Aging Competence Center (CCEA) will create training strategies thinking of all those «who deal, in some way, with aging»

Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Giving «a fundamental contribution to the improvement of the care provided to the elderly», through new and better training of nursing home professionals, but also of informal caregivers, is the main objective of the new Center of Competences for Active Aging (CCEA) , which was presented and inaugurated in Loulé on Thursday, April 27th.

Nuno Marques, executive director of this center, spoke with the Sul Informação on the sidelines of the session on the 27th and assured that training caregivers, but also the community in general, for active aging "is a key point" of the CCEA's mission.

«We have to set priorities and act for what we all think is necessary. There are two fundamental levels here, those who are already working or starting to work in Residential Structures for the Elderly, the homes, and informal caregivers», explained the former president of the Algarve Biomedical Center, who was also chosen by the Government to be the coordinator of the National Plan for Active and Healthy Aging.

The same person in charge considered it essential to «provide an immediate and, above all, articulated response, at national level» and to create training actions very oriented «to people's needs and to each different situation».

«The training courses to be given will be designed here in Loulé. We have the expectation of starting some of the training actions in June or July, so that during the next year we can put the whole machine in motion and, in the next two years, we will have a great leverage of training, in this context», summarized Nuno Marques.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The Active Aging Skills Centre, a protocol center of the Institute for Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), which has the Social Security Institute (ISS) and the ABC – Algarve Biomedical Center as partners, was created with funding from the Recovery and Resilience (PRR).

Its inauguration was attended by Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, and the Secretaries of State Miguel Fontes (Labour) and Ana Sofia Antunes (Social Inclusion).

«The aim is for the center to train all people who deal in some way with aging and, therefore, help to develop response techniques, stimulation, to active aging in its various dimensions», said Ana Mendes Godinho, on the sidelines of the CCEA launching ceremony.

The minister believes that this protocol center «could be an instrument not only for empowering and training people, but also a key partner in the formation of public policies dedicated to ageing».


Ana Mendes Godinho- Photo: Câmara de Loulé


Basically, it is about creating a response for an increasingly aging population with more longevity.

«The number of people who today lack social responses in everything related to aging is all too evident. We also have a challenge here in terms of these human resources, which are increasingly numerous and more necessary», said Secretary of State Miguel Fontes during the session.

The member of the Government also praised the availability and dynamism of the Municipality of Loulé, namely its President Vítor Aleixo, who allowed the creation of this center which, as he stressed, is decentralized and purposely created outside the large urban centres.

Vitor Aleixo explained that he was challenged by Nuno Marques to accept this challenge and that he did not hesitate to do so, since, he says, there is an «ecosystem linked to active and healthy ageing» that has been created and is growing in Loulé, with strong support from the municipality.

The mayor of Loulé spoke of some projects that contribute to this ecosystem, firstly the National Observatory on Aging, inaugurated in March 2022 in Alte, but also the two projects that arise from the partnership between the Municipality and ABC – Algarve Biomedical Center: in Loulé, the building for scientific research in the medical and bioscience areas, the contract for which is awaiting the international public tender in preparation; and in Vilamoura, the Active Life Centre, which has already completed its architectural project.


Vitor Aleixo – Photo: Câmara de Loulé

In the case of the CCEA, a protocol was signed yesterday for the transfer of a 2500 square meter plot of land, next to Avenida Parque das Cidades, for the construction of the center's future facilities, which, in a first phase, will operate in the IEFP's Business Nest, in the Industrial Zone of Loulé.

According to Ana Mendes Godinho, through this initiative, «the intention is to make the sector more attractive, not only for those who work in it, but also for those who may be recruited», which also involves improving working conditions.

«It is evident that wages have to be valued! But this appreciation also goes through the point of view of the workers' own identity with the organizations, the ability to reconcile personal life with professional life and the hiring itself», said the minister.

This was, moreover, one of the challenges pointed out in the round table “Training for more and better care”, in which specialists linked to the sector exposed their ideas and concerns about care for the elderly and the challenges of active ageing.

A better adaptation of curricula, dynamics and type of training to the target public, namely workers in nursing homes, who will have to reconcile them with professional life, the need to train informal caregivers and the need to raise awareness of the entire society, starting with local authority technicians, in relation to the theme of active ageing, were some of the paths pointed out by the specialists.

The CCEA aims to «promote training in providing care for the elderly, enhance the human resources involved in providing care for the elderly, in order to qualify and re-qualify workers, and invest in training and qualification for the provision of differentiated care with innovative training responses, providing the assets with skills for more effective responses to the needs of active aging in Portuguese society».

In addition to having Nuno Marques, whom Ana Mendes Godinho praised for his contribution as president of ABC, at the time of the pandemic, namely in terms of home screening tests, the center will also have another member of the academy of the Algarve, physician Isabel Palmeirim, former director of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Algarve, who will chair the centre's board of directors, a body that will also include representatives from the IEFP and the ISS.






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