With an increasingly aging population, both countries share the same concern: how can active and healthy aging be promoted? The United Kingdom Embassy in Portugal has dedicated “a lot of attention” to this topic and came to Loulé, on the afternoon of Thursday, September 28th, to learn about an innovative project and praise the attention that has also been given to this topic.
Ambassador Christopher Sainty was received in the Noble Hall of the Loulé Chamber, complete with a presentation bythe Active Aging Competence Center (CCEA).
This is an infrastructure based in Loulé that aims to create training strategies with everyone in mind who deals, in some way, with aging.
After being opened in April, the Center is now operating – and will have future facilities, built from scratch, in the Parque das Cidades area.
The CCEA wants to make “a fundamental contribution to improving the care provided to the elderly”, through new and better training for nursing home professionals, but also for informal caregivers.
Nuno Marques, former president of Algarve Biomedical Center, is the executive director of this center and was also chosen, by the Government, as coordinator of the National Plan for Active and Healthy Aging.
This plan, although not yet completed, will focus on areas such as nutrition, physical exercise and the fight against smoking and alcoholism... with the United Kingdom being a reference.
«It is an area in which the English already invest a lot and have implemented measures that can serve as a model for us, not only at national but also local level», explained Nuno Marques to Sul Informação.
Furthermore, “articulation” between countries was one of the priorities defined by the Government, with this visit serving to “strengthen ties”.
As Ambassador Christopher Sainty said, the topic of active aging is a “priority shared by our two countries”.
«Over the last five years, we have sought, at the Embassy, to create a dialogue between Portugal and the United Kingdom on healthy aging. The holding of four annual forums between the two countries on this topic, with the participation of members of the Government, local authorities, academics, representatives of the so-called third sector, companies, among other entities, also reflects this common concern», considered the diplomat.
Furthermore, Christopher Sainty praised the «progress that Loulé has made in this field».
«I hope we can count on the help of the city of Loulé, the Active Aging Skills Center and the National Aging Observatory to deepen the dialogue between our countries and promote the healthy aging of our populations», he reiterated.
This visit also served as a way for the ambassador to thank the Mayor of Loulé and the staff for “their kindness and compassion towards the members of the British community” during the Brexit.
Vítor Aleixo said that the process of issuing passports to British citizens, with installation of necessary equipment, "it was a success".
In his speech, the mayor of Loulé also highlighted the Municipality's commitment to creating conditions for its citizens in this area of active and healthy aging and involvement in projects such as the Observatory created in Alte.
Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação