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Dear Friends,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to the “IV International Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics” that the Escola Superior de Educação João de Deus in partnership with AIP – Feiras, Congressos e Eventos, will organize within the context of its Degree in Social Gerontology.

The IV International Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, devoted to the theme - “Active, healthy and positive aging” will take place in Lisbon on 5, 6 and 7th of December 2014, within the event “Portugal Maior 2014”.

As you may already know, several countries within the European Union and Portugal in in particular, are faced with a significant aging population.

In 1960 the aging index in Portugal was 27.3% and in 2013, 129.4%.

Currently 26.6% of Portugal’s population is over 65 years of age. In 2050 this figure will exceed 40.4%.

Portugal occupies the 34th position in the “Global Ageing Index 2013”. This report is prepared by Help Age International, supported by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) which measures the quality of life and well-being of the elderly worldwide. It analyses several criteria of people over 60 years of age, such as: income (pensions, poverty levels, etc.), health, employment and education, adaptation to the environment (access to public transport, civic rights, security) amongst other criteria.

Active, healthy and positive aging implies knowing that “it is not enough to add years to your life but it is necessary to give life to those years”, both in quality of life and dignity.

We all age. Thus, aging is an individual process. If each one of us is responsible for one’s own aging process, we will have a collective, demographic and societal aging process which is more active, healthy and positive.

The World Health Organization (2002) defines active aging as the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.

The concept of active, healthy and positive aging implies the integration of a Gerontologist in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams, in order to promote health and prevent disease in aging people.

This congress aims to encourage the technical-scientific debate on active, healthy and positive aging to promote a better quality of life and well-being for Portuguese Seniors and to sensitize the elderly population and society in general to longevity strategies via an active healthy and positive aging. It also aims to inform the elderly, their families and caretakers, about resources (goods and services) that are available in the market.

Thus, these are moments that should not be missed in the enhancement of employment opportunities and lifelong learning, as well as, encouraging social, cultural and pedagogical institutions to prepare youth for their own process of active, healthy and positive aging.

“The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty”

John Maynard Keynes

The School Director
Prof. Doutor António Ponces de Carvalho