"Elderly in the in family" workshop on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons

The elderly person in the family is not a burden, but a presence of experience and support that is very much needed in the 21st century, said Ágnes Hornung, State Secretary for Families of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, at the workshop of the Mária Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS), organized by the Institute on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons.  The book of Geriatric Readaptation – Elderly Care, published by KINCS, was presented at the event, as well as the results of the Institute's latest research.

The number of people over the age of 65 in the world was 700 million in 2019, and it is estimated that they could reach 1.5 billion by 2050 - Ágnes Hornung said at the workshop conference. She added that if we translate this into the harsh language of the economy, we can see that the state must also tackle the issue of increased retirement benefits or extra healthcare costs.

"Our important goal is to help our ancestors at all times, because we know that they were the ones who built our present for us with a lifetime of work", she said.

As she said, the topics of the conference are organized around the International Day of Older Persons, which falls on the first day of October every year. Ágnes Hornung called the date symbolic when we are already in the autumn, but there is still time until the end of the year. By choosing the day, the United Nations wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are more and more elderly people in our world, the State Secretary said.

Speaking of the welfare of the elderly, she stressed that the government supports them with a number of measures and initiatives to spend their daily lives as fully as possible, while preserving their health. As an example, she mentioned that municipalities are encouraged by awards to improve the quality of life of the elderly living in the settlement in a unique, imaginative and innovative way, in addition to their compulsory tasks. In the last 19 years, 134 municipalities have already received this prestigious recognition, she said.

She recalled that in order to preserve the activity of the elderly, the National Senior Walking Club Network was established in 2017. Walking clubs, mostly organised on a voluntary basis, joined the network, with the number approaching 120 by 2022, despite the pandemic.

In addition, a number of non-governmental organizations and municipal programs are supported in the framework of individual support, which help to encourage the physical and mental activity of the elderly, the daily lives of people with dementia and those caring for them, to improve the awareness of the disease at social level and to strengthen the relations between generations, as well as the development of services available to the elderly and their relatives.

Ágnes Hornung said: we want to learn from our ancestors, to receive from them the valuable knowledge that life has taught them, but their need for well-deserved rest is also justified. It is the common task of the state and Hungarian families to ensure this, she added, and continued: caring can also serve as a kind of example for our children to follow.

Tünde Fűrész, President of KINCS emphasized that the elderly, the grandparents are the main characters in the family, and they are its defining and irreplaceable members. She recalled that in 2010 a strong alliance was formed between the elderly and the government, and in the last decade there has been a change of approach, and today the elderly are not a burden, but a resource that can be counted on both in terms of family and society. As an example, she mentioned that, according to the research carried out by KINCS, in 78% of families grandparents are also actively participate in raising children. She said that the future of the nation is woven together by the young and the old.

András Pári, the Head of Research at KINCS, presented the research carried out by the institute entitled Elderly in the family, and emphasized that according to their survey conducted by asking 1000 people, the elderly and young people support each other, 9 out of 10 respondents expressly consider the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren to be good, and 98 percent of the respondents stated that grandchildren are a source of joy for grandparents. In the course of the research, 6 out of 10 people stated that it is ideal for grandparents to participate in the upbringing of children.

Dr. Erzsébet Blaskovich, Member of the Elderly Council and Member of the Hungarian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, co-author of the book titled Geriatric Readaptation published in KINCS, said, among other things, that the quality of old age is determined by the degree of self-sufficiency, and if this decreases for any reason, the condition can be improved by rehabilitation treatment. She added that the book covers both healing and caring tasks, health assessment, medication, hydration, nutrition, wound care, appropriate modalities of movement therapy, as well as the establishment of mood and emotional balance. She noted that end-of-life religious practice is of great importance, and the fear of death cannot be overcome with almost anything else.

According to KINCS, the book on geriatrics, that is, the prevention and treatment of diseases of the elderly, helps families who care for their elderly and sick relatives in their homes.

Source: MTI

The book can be downloaded free of charge from the electronic library of KINCS: https://konyvtar.koppmariaintezet.hu

Results of the research: https://www.koppmariaintezet.hu/docs/KINCS_omnibusz_2022_szept_idosek.pdf

Further information:   www.koppmariaintezet.hu

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