In 2021, Portugal had about 4,000 people over 100, according to data from Bordata, which estimates that in the next three decades, until 2050, this number may exceed 10,000. A scenario, from Manuel Lopez’s perspective, is very positive because it means that we are able to create the conditions for people to reach that age. The professor at São João de Dios School of Nursing, University of Évora, who was present on the second podcast Transformar o SNS, whose theme was specifically, “Health promotion and life pathways and aging – the urgent need for new answers,” says the professor, however, recognizes the difficulty of fighting the burden of disease that remains very high above the age of 65. He points out that the key lies in developing a range of health promotion and disease prevention strategies throughout life, not just in the more advanced stages. He stressed that “investment in these policies ensures results, although not Not in the short term.
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An opinion shared by Pedro Macel Barbosa adding that these policies can and should work from the perspective of prevention, in the logic of screening or vaccination, but also in the logic of strengthening health moments. “The latter includes a positive behavior to this contribution – such as exercising and maintaining a balanced diet – which we all know,” explains ULS physical therapist Matosinhos, who also participated in the podcast organized by DN. “What we’re trying to suggest is that healthy thinking happens throughout people’s lives.”
However, experts argue that health education is an essential component for people to obtain information, make better decisions, and be able to manage their health throughout their lives. He stressed that “this education should not only take place in compulsory education, but also at the level of higher education,” recalling the recent study that shows that the level of literacy among students, teachers and researchers in higher education is low. Therefore, “we realize that these tools of education must accompany the entire journey of people and all socio-economic traits, while maintaining greater interest in those who are poorer or less literate, because the scientific evidence is complete, and the risk of physical and mental illness is much greater. In these classes Social “.
In terms of skill enhancement, Manuel Lopez stresses the importance of doing so at any stage of life. “If it is to be applied to the elderly, we can even combine literacy promotion with other types of strategies that also contribute, for example, to increasing intergenerational coexistence and combating loneliness,” he suggests.
These challenges require a lot of reorganization and management, which means there is a lot of work to be done. For example, as Manuel Lopez says, “If we want to analyze the national health plan, which is perhaps the most important tool of strategic health planning in Portugal, we find no reference to multidisease, multidisease approach and dependence, which is certainly an overwhelming reality.” He adds that these issues should be brought to the table and discussed because they require everyone’s input. Pedro Maciel Barbosa adds that one of the strategies this working group suggests is to consider close care or home care. “It’s something that SNS has turned around, and they’ve found solutions, but unfortunately, they’re fragmented and this is the time to rethink them.”
To learn more about these proposals, be sure to listen to the podcast, available from today on the DN website.
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