A tour of four regions in the country and the convening of all the actors involved was the successful culmination of the Nation Territory Meetings on Aging and Old Age.
Bogotá D.C., November 10, 2022. In the facilities of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the fourth Meeting of the Nation Territory of Aging and Old Age was held, which has already been arranged in three other cities in the country, in coordination with the National Council for the Elderly. There was a report of these meetings, which allowed strengthening the National Public Policy on Aging and Old Age 2022 - 2031.
In this regard, Alex Ordóñez, head of the social promotion office of the Ministry of Health, pointed out that this event "concludes the cycle of mutual transfer of knowledge, experiences and recognition of the great advances that the territories have made, which has made it possible to strengthen the processes regarding the National Public Policy."
The official indicated that "the Policy includes one of the commitments to conceive a set of affirmative measures, which progressively garner differences, diversity, community, but also the individuality of human development, and to guarantee the social inclusion of vulnerable groups."
He highlighted the contribution of older people in the current national situation, revealing that between 2011 and 2021 older people doubled their participation in the national total with a growth of 51.5%, which represents 13.9% of the Colombian population.
"But in 2031 there will be almost 3 million more older people, for a total of 10,012,815, a variation of 41% compared to 2021. In conclusion, the Colombian population is aging, and the country must prepare for this demographic change," he said.
About the meetings
In accordance with the Policy, various sectors of the State, academia, providers of social and socio-health services for the elderly and civil society were convened. Thus, a first Meeting was held in the city of Barranquilla (Atlántico) on October 20, which was attended by representatives of the territorial entities of Atlántico, Bolívar, Cesar, Córdoba, Guajira, Santa Martha, Sucre and Districts of Barranquilla and Cartagena.
The second Meeting took place in the city of Cali (Valle del Cauca) on October 27, with the participation of representatives of the territorial entities of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, San Andrés and the Districts of Buenaventura and Santiago de Cali.
In the city of Manizales (Caldas) the third Meeting was held on November 3, attended by representatives of the territorial entities of Caldas, Putumayo, Quindío, Risaralda and Vichada.
These sessions ended in the city of Bogotá, with the participation of the provinces of Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Boyacá, Caquetá, Casanare, Cesar, Chocó, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Huila, Nariño, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupés, Vichada and the Districts of Bogotá and Barrancabermeja.
"These regional conferences made it possible to strengthen the conceptual knowledge of Aging and Old Age, of the National Public Policy on Aging and Old Age 2022 - 2031, to update on the progress that has been made in the drafting of the National Intersectoral Action Plan that is being prepared in coordination with the National Council for the Elderly and the entities at the national level that signed the decree with their affiliated entities," explained Ordóñez.
Additionally, this meeting achieved articulation with the Ministry of Labor, the Public Employment Service Unit and Colpensiones where emphasis was placed on Axis 1 of the policy corresponding to overcoming the economic dependency of the elderly. This is essential for the well-being of this population in Colombia in relation to its comprehensive social protection.
During the event, Diana Margarita Ojeda, delegate inspector for labor and social security matters, indicated that the Inspector General's Office will perform surveillance so that "in all corners of the country where there is a person over 60 years of age, they receive the benefits of the new Policy."
In turn, Juan Nicolás Escandón, director of Fundamental Labor Rights of the Ministry of Labor, noted that "we need a change in culture and in the understanding of the capacities of older people. To break the paradigms that people can only work up to a certain age.
For her part, Alba Lucia Chavarriaga, representative of the gerontology and geriatrics associations in the National Council for the Elderly, stressed that "the academy understood that population aging is not a problem, on the contrary, it is the triumph of scientific disciplines, political actions and the State, because we all seek life and existence to endure, and older people represent that legacy."
After these interventions, the head of Social Promotion pointed out that the Ministry of Health ratifies the commitment to strengthen intersectoral and territorial work so that older people can reach their potential with dignity, equity and equality, in a healthy territory and environment."