University of the Philippines Los Baños
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 16:55

UPLB Elderly Dev’t Program promotes ‘neurobics’ at Senior Citizens Summit

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“Our seniors have so much to give to us and to our communities. That is why it is our responsibility to ensure that our seniors, despite their age, remain sharp, fit, and cheerful.”

This is how Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs, emphasized the importance of looking after the bio-psycho-social welfare of senior citizens as she read the message of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. during the 6th Senior Citizens Summit on Sept. 23 at the Baker Hall.

More than 100 senior citizens from the towns of Los Baños, Bay, Calauan, and Victoria, and the cities of Calamba and San Pablo attended the annual gathering.

Neurobics, or brain exercises, served as the central theme of the Summit. “The elderly should continuously use their minds through memory games and some activities to sharpen their memory and to minimize the onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Renato V. Torres, head of the Elderly Development Program (EDP).

EDP is an extension program of the Department of Human and Family Development Studies of the College of Human Ecology (DHFDS-CHE) that organizes the annual Summit.

At the start of the event, the participants took part in a memory walk and physical fitness exercises. The Summit also featured lectures on healthy lifestyle and alternative medicine - knowledge sharing activities that Dr. Torres saw as opportunities to exercise the minds of the participants. “It is one way of keeping the brain active - by learning new things and interacting with speakers,” the medical doctor and professor said.

One of the participants, Editha Medina of Los Baños, has attended the Summit thrice. The retired entomologist said that she appreciates the new learnings that she gains from the event. She also availed herself of the free medical check-up that were offered during the Summit.

Among these free services were health screening, eye check-up, nutrition screening and assessment, dental check-up, blood pressure and blood sugar test, dementia screening, and acupuncture. Sponsoring organizations facilitated these services.

Fun games and entertainment numbers were also held during the event.

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Aside from the annual Summit, the EDP also holds monthly day care service for senior citizens of UPLB and neighboring communities. “We do this to keep them productive, healthy, and happy,” Dr. Torres said.

The Summit also served as the sixth anniversary celebration of the EDP. Present during the event were Prof. Maria Emilinda T. Mendoza, associate dean of CHE, Prof. Ria D. Sanchez, chair of DHFDS-CHE, and faculty members, staff, and students of CHE. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)