Central Nacional Unimed carries out actions for the elderly

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2019, the number of seniors in Brazil it reached 32.9 million people. The data reinforce an aging trend among the Brazilian population, with the number of people over 60 in the country surpassing that of children up to 9 years old. The Unimed National Center (CNU), through its Institute, has made available actions in favor of the health of those aged 60 or over. Exclusive initiatives for seniors take place through the Unimed Ativa program, in two areas of action: the elderly caregivers course and the elderly quality of life nucleus. Together, these two fronts have already made it possible to serve approximately 5,000 people since 2014.

Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, professional training in “Caregiver for the Elderly”, carried out in partnership with Faculdade Unimed, was 100% adapted to the online environment, allowing interested parties from all regions of Brazil to participate and could deepen the knowledge about the importance of the caregiver in society. The course is completely free and dynamic, providing students with techniques to provide an assertive service, with the best care practices to assist the individual’s families and medical teams. Lasting more than 80 hours, the course has a robust content grid, with guidelines on aging, nutrition, diseases and the autonomy of the elderly. There are also guidelines on care, simulations of everyday situations and, of course, routine care and attention to the coronavirus. There are 16 activities for the student to be approved. In addition to monitoring in class, he needs to achieve at least 70% success in each activity.

For Luiz Paulo Tostes Coimbra, president of Central Nacional Unimed, the concern to ensure the well-being of the elderly is an ongoing mission and the caregiver plays an essential role in this context. “The concern with ensuring quality service drives the daily routine of Central Nacional Unimed. Therefore, we have this responsibility to prepare qualified professionals, especially those who will take care of our elderly, an active and growing part of society”, says the president. The course, in force since 2014, has already registered more than 20 thousand people enrolled and 4,5 thousand certified students.

The numbers prove society’s interest and demand for elderly care techniques. Motivated by this context, the Instituto Central Nacional Unimed also works in the multidisciplinary project of Unimed Ativa, which offers physical and occupational activities free of charge for anyone interested. Activity also modified in the midst of the pandemic. In addition to the new format, fully online for the safety of the participants, music therapy actions, nutritional practice and guidance, meetings with psychologists and monitoring with a physiotherapist and occupational therapy were added to the program. Currently, there are 150 elderly people divided into 6 groups, who carry out activities twice a week.

“It is worth highlighting how beneficial this work is in many hands, as we can have contact with different people and institutions throughout Brazil. It is very encouraging to see seniors excited about activities and interaction with peers from beginning to end of classes. It is certainly a moment of great joy, which has a positive impact on everyone’s routine”, says Patrícia Malta, Institutional Relations advisor at CNU, who is also a member of the Institute’s board. A recent survey conducted with project participants revealed that loneliness, discouragement and the absence of family and friends in the context of social isolation affected the group’s routine and full health. With the beginning of the actions of Unimed Ativa, approximately 50% of the participants indicated that they had noticed a rapid and expressive improvement in their quality of life and in interpersonal relationships.

“Classes on care for the elderly and assistance actions to support the group are essential dynamics to keep the elderly in evidence in society. For us, this is the power of medical cooperativism: the creation of solutions and actions that impact the different layers of the population”, concludes Luiz Paulo. To participate in the activities, in addition to prior registration, it is necessary to use a computer or smartphone with internet access.

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