MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, MALANG—Dr. Sri Soenarti, the Chairperson of the Muhammadiyah Council for Public Health Development of the Regional Board of Malang, highlighted the importance of embracing the aging process to achieve healthy and successful aging.
“The aging process should not be viewed negatively. The elderly with life experience can serve as valuable teachers and advisors,” said Dr. Sri Soenarti in the seminar of the Muhammadiyah Council for Thought and Judgment at Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) on Saturday (July 22).
Regular physical activity is vital for supporting elderly health and reducing the risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and cognitive disorders. Physical activity and exercise can also slow the aging process, often involving a decline in organ function and physical mobility.
“Meeting psychological needs is crucial during the aging process. The elderly who adapt well to their circumstances enjoy a better quality of life. Counseling and financial support can help address their psychological challenges,” said Dr. Sri Soenarti.
Social participation is vital in enhancing older people’s quality of life. Engaging in social activities builds networks and prevents isolation, which can lead to depression and loneliness.
Economic aspects significantly impact elderly well-being. Some confront challenges to comply with daily needs due to physical limitations and limited savings. Socioeconomic factors, such as occupation, education, and financial situation, particularly those below 60, play a crucial role.
Empowering older people is also the responsibility of the government. Education, support for those with disabilities, and social support should be areas to concern.
Older people’s physical, mental, and cognitive health should be the concern of all elements. Thus, actions to enhance their quality of life are vital institutionally and communally.
Dr. Sri Soenarti emphasized the privileges of elderly parents as their wisdom benefits the younger generation. They hold the key to heaven; the younger generation seeks prayers and blessings for safety and success. It is a gift from Allah to the elderly.
Muhammadiyah and the Senior Center
Dr. Sri Soenarti advocates for Muhammadiyah to become a “senior center” or a service hub for older people. The concept entails offering various facilities and services such as housing, nutrition, legal aid, parks, sports facilities, health care, social support, spiritual places, transportation, and daily care services.
“All services will be interconnected and integrated, so they are easily accessible during emergencies,” said Dr. Sri Soenarti.
The service center aims to provide a comfortable and safe environment for older people, meeting their physical, mental, and social needs. With comprehensive access to various facilities and services, older people’s quality of life will improve, fostering a sense of safety and comfort.
Additionally, the service center fosters social and spiritual bonds among older people, promoting interaction and meaningful experiences.
As a movement with strong religious values, Muhammadiyah’s holistic and caring approach supports healthy, happy, and meaningful aging for older people.