by Meiji D. Pancho
More than 200 elderly attended the second Los Baños Senior Citizen’s Summit themed “Masaya at Malusog na Buhay Habang Nagkaka-edad” at the UP Los Baños NCAS Auditorium on September 20, 2013.
Despite the cloudy weather, Erma D. Yanoria, who also attended last year’s summit, said that she came because she wanted to exercise and be informed of the conditions that come with old age. For Ernesto Cuenca, a first time attendee, he came for the companionship of his fellow senior citizens.
Yanoria and Cuenca, along with the rest of the participants enjoyed the free health screening after the memory walk. The health screening was composed of several stations that measured the elderly’s blood pressure, pulse rate, height and weight, cholesterol level, and blood sugar.
With the personal health information they had, the senior citizens evaluated their lifestyle and diet practices through the lecture of Dr. Cheridine Oro-Josef, Chairman of Committee on Geriatrics of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), on “Malusog na Pamumuhay sa Paglipas ng Panahon.” She discussed with the elderly the problems they would encounter in aging and how they can prevent these problems. The participants also learned about the different needs of their body according to their age classification stage.
Dr. Josef also gave tips on how to choose their food and cleared the common misconceptions in diet practices. Lastly, Dr. Josef encouraged the senior citizens to exercise not only their bodies but also their minds, to practice healthy living, and to continuously gain new knowledge and make new dreams and goals.
In his welcome remarks Dr. Renato V. Torres, program director of the UPLB Elderly Development Program (EDP) said that they want to see the Los Baños senior citizens out and about, making a difference in their respective communities. United Bayanihan Foundation (UBF) retiree Ted Seno, talked about active aging. He encouraged the elderly to “make the rest of your life the best of your life” and gave five ways that the elderly can do to lengthen their healthy lives. Seno stressed the importance of their sector’s contribution to the development of the community and deeply stimulated them to volunteerism.
Eugenio Mercado, one of the participants, said that he learned that people in his age should continue being happy and have a sense of humor, he also added that he was enthused to eat the right foods and maintain the cleanliness of his surroundings since it fosters good health. Arsenia Lantican, also a first time attendee said “Yung hindi ko alam, nalaman ko dito kaya uulit pa ako.”
The United Bayanihan Foundation (UBF), the senior citizens advocacy of UNILAB foundation, primarily sponsored the event. In partnership with the College of Human Ecology, Department of Human and Family Development Studies, UPLB Elderly Development Program (EDP), and the UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs. Other main sponsors were Alzheimer’s disease Association of the Philippines Manila Chapter, Skelan, and Ritemed.