Turkey is a leading country in elderly care in terms of projects, laws, culture and opportunities, according to a gerontologist. "We announced 2019 as the year of the elderly to raise awareness and run projects for senior citizens," Kemal Aydın, head of the International Center for Ageing and Development (ICAD) told Anadolu Agency (AA).
An expert in studies related to the aspects of aging, Aydın said Turkey is a leading country in elderly care due to its different approaches, like the "Peaceful Home" project, which gives priority to homecare facilities instead of retirement homes. "We are against retirement homes. Healthy people should be in their own homes, with society. In Turkey, systems and technologies that value them and make them healthy are delivered to the ones in need," he said.
ICAD aims to organize an expo in 2021, Aydın said. "The expo will host exhibitions and forums on health culture in Anatolia such as recovery homes and social complexes as well as Anatolia's historic alternative medicine: Music and water therapies," he added.
Speaking about the projects, Aydın said a documentary competition focusing on centenarians would also be held. "We also plan to establish a charity fund to help elderly people in need," he said, adding that money from the fund will also be spent to build age-friendly cities across the country. "When we establish the world's largest Alzheimer's village, everyone will wish to visit it," he said.
The approximately 1.5 billion elderly people in the world, with 125 million of them in Europe alone, create a sector of its own, Aydın said. "Turkish entrepreneurs can create content for media, competitions, holidays and learning programs targeting elderly people." "Turkey is a center of attraction in health tourism with its nature, technical infrastructure and cultural heritage," he added. "The World Ageing Summit was held for the first time in Turkey in 2005 with the participation of around 1,000 people, including then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," Aydın said. "To organize the summit, we worked hard to promote Turkey since 1990, the same year the U.N. General Assembly declared Oct. 1 as the International Day of Older Persons," he added.