Regional Conference: Technology & Active Ageing
On 14 October the Senior Citizens Organization of Cyprus and the ESU organised a South Regional Conference around ‘Technology & Active Ageing’. It took place at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia. The meeting was organised by Antonios C. Demetriades, President of the Seniors’ Association in Cyprus.
A welcoming speech was given by University rector Mr. Costas Christophides and a recorded message from the President of the Republic and High Patron Mr. Nicos Anastasiades was aired. He thanked the voluntary active seniors of Cyprus and the ESU for their indispensable political commitment and emphasised how urgent the matter of “state unity” is for him. The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiadis, is the founder of the Senior Citizens’ Organisation of Cyprus (SCOC). In 2015, he received the title of High Patron of the association. At the occasion of the Regional Conference on 17-19 October 2015, organised by Antonios Demetriades, he invited the ESU Presidium in the Presidential Palace.
Further during the conference, there were speeches from Antonis Demetriades, Aferof Neophyhtou (President of the Democratic Rally), Ionas Nicolaou (Minister of Justice) and from Mrs Maria Kanellopoulou (representative of the Greek Seniors).
The Minister of Labour Welfare and Social Insurance, Mrs. Zeta Emilianides, emphasised the opportunities of modern technologies for direct access to information, which could be of particular benefit to solitary, elderly and care-dependent persons.
The main speech was the given by Dr. Marios Kyriazis, Biomedical-Gerontologist, followed by speeches of Marina Polycarpou, (Gerontology/Psychology, M.S.) and f Elisavet Kourti from the University of Cyprus. She said that video games are a microcosm and full of problem. The players are asked to “meet challenges, find solutions, develop skills and understanding through complex activity. The video players of the future will be seniors, who today still often see the games of young people as a waste of time,” the scientist concluded.
President Hermans also explained that when highlighting ‘technology and active ageing’ during the conference, “we create a meeting point, a crossroad between the challenges of demographic change and the opportunities of changing technologies. This changing technology is affecting our method of policy making but also our economy, our workplace, our healthcare and our daily lifestyle. For the growing proportion of older population, who are healthy and active but not in the work field, new fields of needs and opportunities can be explored. Developing technologies are only one of the key drivers of what is called ‘Silver Economy’”. She expressed her hope that the Conference would be “an eye opener and an invitation to build multiple innovative bridges between both the challenges in the fields of active aging and the infinite technological capabilities that today offers. I am sure that if we find a way to bridge these two components, then we are on our way to ‘more years and better lives’ for today’s generation and the future generations in the EU and worldwide.” (Speech of ESU President An Hermans)