The progressive aging of the population entails the need to respond to new challenges. And Lazio takes the field with a provision that aims to enhance the role of the elderly as a resource inserted in the active life of the community. An even more appropriate intervention taking into account the massive presence of elderly people in the Region (just take a look at the data: in 2021 the old-age index for Lazio says that there are 174.8 elderly people for every 100 young people) and the experience gained in course of the pandemic. First signatory of the regional law proposal n. 232, concerning ‘Regulations for the protection of the promotion and enhancement of active aging’, is Marta Bonafoni, group leader of the Zingaretti Civic List at the Lazio Regional Council. The text, which also sees the signatures of many councilors of all the political groups present in the Region, was drafted together with the unions of pensioners CGIL CISL and UIL who already in the previous legislature Zingaretti had produced a law of popular initiative supported by thousands of signatures of citizens. “It was 2014 – Bonafoni tells Adnkronos – and the regulatory framework immediately appeared insufficient in relation to the elderly person considered not as an ‘active subject’ but the recipient of interventions only of a welfare type. A response to sacrosanct needs but not able to instead activate the protagonism of the elderly in the wake of the increase in life expectancy “. Then came the pandemic. The bereavement in the RSA, the isolation at home, the distance from loved ones have turned the spotlight on the theme of the frailty of the elderly. “In those months there was a start: the unions knocked on the door of the Region saying that the time had come – continues Bonafoni – We therefore began to hold remote meetings with the aim of adapting the pre-pandemic text to everything what Covid 19 was teaching us. Thus was born the bill that was filed with the Regional Council last August. Now we are on the home straight “.” The objective of the proposal – explains Bonafoni – is to enhance the person elderly, transforming her from a mere and precious recipient of services to an activator of possibilities in the social field, in the socio-health integration and above all in the embrace of all the subjects and powers that the Reason has, from training to the care of greenery, from intergenerational relationship to the use of spaces up to new technologies “. A proposal that therefore aims to improve the well-being and independence of the elderly, promoting their active participation in social, civil, economic, cultural and recreational life. “Active aging is one of the great issues of cultural change within society. Help is needed: unfortunately little is said about the value of this age throughout the West”, says Paolo Ciani, regional councilor of Demos and vice president of the Health Commission, among the signatories of the pl. It is a law, he specifies, “designed for the age group that precedes the one of greatest fragility and affects a part of the population which, precisely with the lengthening of life expectancy, is still fully active: those young elderly people beyond of the 65-year-olds who still have a lot of energy from a physical, intellectual, and often economic point of view. It is right that they have their own role in society “, despite the common thought he sees for more mature women and men arrive “a season in which they are no longer of any use and are no longer useful”. The experience in the Covid-19 period “highlighted – Ciani observes – the fragility of the answers given to the elderly in recent decades, in particular the issue of institutionalization. It was dramatic to see how the places dedicated to reception and care – RSA, nursing homes and long-term hospitalization – have proved to be unable to protect the elderly from the pandemic. Indeed, places where the virus has entered the most with huge losses in terms of human lives. Experience has shown that the time has come to overcome the institutional model as the only response to take charge of the frailty of the elderly. We need to think of alternative models: home care, cohousing, small family homes with the possibility of using all the resources, from assistance integrated home care with telemedicine, ensuring that everyone stays at home “. The bill also provides for the establishment of the regional active aging day for April 22 of each year, the date on which Rita Levi Montalcini is born. A useful initiative, according to Ciani, to raise awareness on issues related to the universe of the elderly. “They are a precious resource, let’s not forget them. Each of them can still make an important contribution to society”. Active aging is a theme that unites all forces, the shared urgency to give answers translates into a law on which there is broad convergence. On the other hand, as explained by the regional councilor of Energie for Italy Fabio Capolei, vice president of the Health Commission at Pisana, “being inclusive with the elderly is today more important than ever. Recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic have in light of serious problems that mainly involve the most fragile subjects such as loneliness, isolation and social exclusion, problems which, under normal conditions, in everyday life should not exist. discussed in the Health Committee, and which will soon arrive in the Chamber, goes in this direction. It is a text we care about and in which we participated by presenting some amendments, because we care about the target it refers to “. Also according to Capolei “it is essential to strengthen the contribution that comes from the elderly”. For this, “activities are necessary to promote places for socialization, technological training activities, cultural activities and, more generally, everything that can favor their participation in the social, economic and cultural life of the country. In this sense, we believe that municipalities should involve the elderly more in social activities, thus taking advantage of their experience, and perhaps providing them in exchange with health services such as, for example, free check-ups “. and the amendments of the pl were approved unanimously – Bonafoni recalls – The measure has now passed to the Budget Committee where the financial regulation will be written. ‘commitment with the proponents is to have an important loan with respect to a law that we consider to be a strategic asset of the Region we want build. For sure, the law will see the establishment of an active aging fund. “
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