According to the figures of the Censo2020, 17.288 persons, which comprises 16% of our population, are 65 years and older.
This year’s theme of the United Nations in connection with International Day of Older Persons is “Digital Equity for all ages”, which predicates the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.
In Aruba, the accessibility to the digital world is very high, and 71% of persons 65 years and older have an internet connection in one form or another. It is a very positive development since technology advances rapidly. However, knowledge about digital tools is considerably low among our senior citizens.
While the whole world is making efforts to connect people, new risks are becoming more evident. Some examples like cybercrimes and misinformation are menacing human rights, privacy, and security of senior citizens.
The importance of using digital tools during the pandemic
The pandemic brought about a change in the management of elderly care around the world. The elderly were classified as the most vulnerable and high-risk group to get infected with COVID-19.
Many persons were unable to visit their loved ones. Consequently, many inhabitants of elderly care homes were suffering mentally and emotionally. The only way they had to communicate with their loved ones was through video calls using i-pads and cellphones. This underscores the importance of digital tools to stay in contact with loved ones.
In connection with the International Day of Older Persons, the government declared October as the awareness month for senior citizens. The Section Elderly Care has a special segment to create awareness among our community about the challenges our senior citizens are facing.
Visit the Facebook page of the Department of Public Health for updates.