Havana, Cuba.- The statistics speak for themselves: almost 30 percent of the Cuban population will be over 60 by the end of the next decade.
There are several causes for this fact. The increase in life expectancy, which has reached 78 years for men and 82 for women, according to the basic indicators published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 2018, as well as low levels of sustained fertility and a demographic dynamic marked by a negative net migration rate.
Given these circumstances, Cuban health authorities have been working for some years to achieve a transformation in the way they assimilate this aging population, with figures currently standing at 20.4 percent of the population, according to the most recent data from the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI).
‘We seek a change in the perception of that stage of life,’ health authorities have insisted. It is necessary to move beyond a vision that simply focuses on health care needs, to understand that the older population also has great potential, experts assure.
Hence, it is vital to guarantee much more than quality health care, and adjust services to the needs of this age group, working to ensure an active and healthy aging process.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will launch next year the Decade of Healthy Aging: 2020-2030, to works towards guaranteeing the health and well-being of older adults, as well as making them feel useful, and facilitating their participation in all aspects of society, economically, culturally and artistically, the organization pointed out.
PAHO also considered it essential that this generational group is viewed as an active part of the home. Older persons must not be considered a burden; their families must include them.