Sergei Sobyanin approves pilot programme on active longevity

February 14, 2018
Social sector

Soon, senior Muscovites will be able to take a more active part in cultural, educational, sporting, therapeutic and other events. The new active longevity project was discussed at a Moscow Government Presidium meeting.

“Older people’s desire to take an active part in education, culture and sport does not decline but grows stronger every year. Now our senior Muscovites do not want to sit at home all day, they want to be active and communicate,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

Moscow has many different initiatives, but they cannot satisfy all Muscovites’ demands. Commercial projects are not available to most seniors because of the prices, and local social service centres’ facilities and resources are not sufficient to host and serve so many people.

“We have decided to create the large-scale, interesting system active longevity programme. This is an extremely difficult goal; we will have to use all the city’s facility and technical capacities to achieve it, including educational, cultural and sports organisations. We need to direct everything the city has towards this programme, without affecting their main activities, of course,” the mayor explained.

It is important to interest social centres in this programme. Sergei Sobyanin said “Of course we should do this so that attention to seniors and their unique opportunities won’t become too formal, that’s why we’ll start with a pilot programme that will end up being comprehensive.”

DSc (Medicine) and TV anchor Yelena Malysheva, singer Nadezhda Babkina, TV anchor Arina Sharapova, RSFSR People’s Artist Alexander Kalyagin, sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov and TV news presenter Anna Shatilova took part in the discussion. All of them were included in the public council that will design the programme.

“It will take more than one day or one month to develop this programme, but it must result in large-scale infrastructure for senior people, people of the older generation. I agree with you that this will make our city open, warmer and more kind-hearted. This is also an important task,” the Moscow Mayor said.

This programme will not cancel other city programmes: medicine, visiting nurses and palliative care and gerontology will be developed as well. Sergei Sobyanin added: “Of course, we will also develop social support, including material and special targeted help for senior people.”

Age of new opportunities

During the last seven years the average expected lifespan in Moscow increased three years to over 77. Today there are over 3 million people of retirement age in Moscow, including 650,000 young seniors (65 or younger). About 600 Muscovites are 100 years old or more.

The increased lifespan and the quality of medical services as well as seniors’ health are gradually forming a new attitude towards old age as the better half of life. People of the elder generation try to seek more opportunities for an active life.

In 2016, Moscow held the Active Longevity crowdsourcing project. New programmes for seniors were created in all city districts at the public’s initiative. For example, Nordic walking was one of the most popular proposals. The people were not mistaken: today they can meet Nordic walkers in all Moscow parks. Last year, the Silver University project was launched.

As a result, the demand for such activities exceeds capacity, so the Moscow Government decided to implement a larger active longevity project at public initiative.

Mayor Sobyanin noted: “Of course we should create new opportunities for those who want to lead an active life, go in for sports, educate themselves or take part in public and cultural events. Our city has many. Moscow should give these people everything it can offer.”

Sport and leisure

Senior people registered in Moscow without medical restrictions can participate in the programme (participation may be limited due to health conditions).

Sports, recreational and educational events will be organised for seniors (no special training is required). Group lessons will be held once or twice a week. They will be free.

“Of course, all services for seniors must be free. Additional financing must be allocated for our organisations to interest them in the programme,” the mayor said.

Local social services centres will serve as project organisers. It’s planned that educational centres, cultural and sports organisations and parks will participate in the project. They will prepare proposals and take part in event selection. It’s also planned to open venues in every Moscow district.

Many venues will open at educational centres and schools, because they have the most developed facilities.

Sergei Sobyanin added: “I hope it will serve for the mutual profit of schools and students.” This way, seniors will be able to share their knowledge and skills with younger people.

The name is up to Muscovites

Preliminary registration for the project will open on 1 March. It will be possible to submit an application at local social service centres. The courses will start when there are enough participants in each group and when the conditions to hold them are met.

The pilot programme has no name yet. It will be up to the public to choose it. Famous social activists and professionals will work on this, including Leila Adamyan, Nadezhda Babkina, Natalya Bestemyanova, Natalya Vinogradova, Dmitry Vinokurov, Maxim Galkin, Natalya Ignatenko, Alexander Kalyagin, Svetlana Kvarta, Yelena Malysheva, Artyom Metelev, Maria Morozova, Irina Nazarova, Yelizaveta Oleskina, Alexander Oleshko, Stanislav Popov, Maria Salutskaya, Yekaterina Strizhenova, Arina Sharapova, Vera Shastina, Anna Shatilova and Olga Yaroslavskaya.

During the implementation of the pilot programme, a permanent programme for senior Muscovites will be designed and approved based on participant feedback.


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