Post by @CubanWindow (with others sites information)

Cuba is facing a marked process of population aging, requiring specialized attention for citizens 60 years of age and older. The country’s Social Welfare system provides support to seniors.

The island has 274 Older Adult Community Centers ( specialized service) and one social worker for every 600 families. These institutions are open daily from 8am to 5pm, and receive old peoples whose families are unable to care for them during the day. Support is offered to these seniors who must look after themselves and continue to carry out normal everyday tasks.

There are currently 274 facilities of this kind throughout the country, with a capacity for 9,393 people; as well as 3,310 daytime care places across the island’s network of retirement homes. As such, Cuba is able to provide daily care to some 12,703 people 60 years of age or older. Meanwhile, work is underway to establish Older Adult Community Centers in Mariel, Caimito, Alquízar and Madruga, the only four municipalities in the country which currently lack these services.

The Sol de Otoño (Autumn Sun) Community Center located close to the sea and was built almost a century ago receives older adults referred by their community doctors, who know residents well and are able to identify older adults in need of assistance.

A social worker at Sol de Otoño, explained that her work is focused on helping to restore older adults’ physical, psychological and cognitive functions with the aim of reinserting them into the community.

Older adults are divided into three groups: A, B, and C. The first requires them to socialize, carry out cleaning tasks such as dusting, arranging furniture, helping to set the table, and others. They also receive music therapy and practice daily activities which they haven’t done for a long time.

Those in group B undertake activities to develop their orientation skills and awareness of their surroundings, they go over daily bathing habits, table manners and other tasks; including washing hands and brushing teeth, all of which contribute to the individual’s social and occupational rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, those in Group C are able to perform all the vital functions described above and are also taught how to use electronic devices, such as TV remotes and decoders, and cell and landline phones. There are also plans to teach members IT skills and how to surf the internet, a service which is currently unavailable due to a lack of computers.

The grandpas and grandmas smiles reflect their gratitude, years of accumulated wisdom and lust for life. All agree that the Community Center is like a big family, where they share interests, develop skills, and are encouraged to continue living a full life. The secret of such success lies in the give and receive concept of care provided.