SURA and its “Active Aging” Drive

​ We begin to age from the very moment we are born. Growing up and growing old is a natural biological process and being aware of this fact allows us to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise throughout our lives for ensuring our physical, social and mental well-being, as well as our productivity and quality of life during our old age. For this reason and in order to continue building long-term relationships with our clients, Seguros SURA has created its Plan Nueva Mente ("New Mind Plan" to assist our policy-holders at every stage of their lives. To date, around 84 clients over the age of 55  have been involved in the workshops, lectures, trips and different activities staged by Seguros SURA for the purpose of providing opportunities for comprehensive wellness, so as to experience moments that give meaning to what they do and feel, and create bonds of solidarity and support. "We want to change the way old age is associated with feebleness and a lack of productivity and show people that just because they have retired does not mean that they have to idle away their days until they finally go to meet their Maker. By providing hands-on assistance, we wish to encourage active aging, understood as being a way of optimizing a person´s well-being throughout the different stages of his or her life", ​ stated  Juan Carlos Pelaez Herrera, the coordinator of this New Mind Plan . What does this plan mean for participating clients ? What has it enabled them to do? Have they changed their perceptions about aging and old age? These are just some of the questions that the beneficiaries of this New Mind Plan have answered after attending an academic forum titled Wellness Experiences for the Elderly, which was held in July at the El Tesoro Shopping Center in the city of Medellin. This event provided an opportunity to talk about healthy and active aging, and how to consciously build a better quality of life. "Belonging to the New Mind Plan has given me a fresh perspective of what I thought I was going to do with myself when I retired, since it has given me a series of activities that have allowed me to interact with a number of people who I had never met, and which over time have become almost like members of my family. For me growing old is a different and totally new stage of my life, and  I can safely say that this is one of the best times of my life, " ​ explained Byron Muñoz González who is 62 years old. ​"I am becoming more intelligent, sociable, active and healthy and tackling everything with a fresh lease on life. The New Mind workshops have done wonders for me since I feel part of something bigger. We have all got used to something that we now call "our new family," said Maria Clara Uribe Toro who is 59 years of age. "The most important thing that the New Mind program has given us is the opportunity to interact with other people. I was a person completely dedicated to my job and my relationships revolved around my work, so when I retired I signed up for the New Mind Plan and began to make friends. Today I have another family to enjoy"  said Ana Maria Restrepo Robles, 59 years of age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), active aging "means understanding this stage of life as one more cycle of personal growth, adding 'life to years, not just years to life". Thus, through this program Sura offers its retired clients the opportunity of taking part in activities that facilitate their  personal development, with opportunities to learn and integrate as a family, in the form of get-togethers, entertainment and community-building . This is an opportunity to help them during this stage of their lives which, just like any other, can create misgivings, dreams, accomplishments and emotions that continue to provide valuable learnings and moments as yet another life experience.   Aging and Old Age - the numbers Worldwide* Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world´s population over 60 years of age shall double from 11% to 22%. going from 605 million to 2000 million over the course of half a century. * Data provided by the World Health Organization In Latin America and the Caribbean * The proportion of the region´s population aged 60 years and over shall increase from 14.1% in 2025 to 22.6% in 2050. This shall be higher for women than for men. In urban areas in 2015, 15.4% of the region´s entire population shall consist of women over 60 years of age, compared to 12.6% in the case of men. As for the rural areas this percentage comes to 13.6% for women and 12.9% for men. * Data taken from  a study titled "Aging and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Centre (CELADE) - Population Division.   In Colombia According to the projections drawn up by the Colombian Statistics Bureau (DANE) by 2020 elderly people throughout the country shall total 6,440,778, 44.9% of whom shall be  men and 55.1% women. *Taken from:​   Images by courtesy​