The International Conference on Longevity, Social Engagement and (Dis)abilities will take place on April 5th 2019, at Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo – Escola Superior de Educação (IPVC-ESE). The conference results from the implementation of AgeNortC – a multicentre and multimethod research project, developed by several higher education institutions as well as municipalities.
Several reasons may support this international conference. If, on the one hand, it is important to celebrate longevity, on the other it is equally important to develop collective and individual efforts to prevent disability associated with very old age.
The longevity revolution is one of humanities’ biggest achievements and never have human beings lived for so many years. Considering the years that we have been adding to life, currently we need to guarantee quality of life and well-being for everybody, particularly in the last decades of the life cycle.
Social engagement is one of the ingredients to successful, active and healthy aging. Participation is one of the four pillars of active aging, along with health, security and lifelong learning. The ability to be socially engaged depends on health status and, at the same time, this is nuclear to health promotion.
Considering aging as a dynamic process involving gains and losses throughout the life course, it is known that abilities do not decline all at the same time and that, in some cases, they may even improve. Consequently, it is relevant to analyse changes associated with age at both the individual and the societal levels. In this context, it is important to share existing knowledge and to promote public debate about preventing disability and enhancing quality of life and well-being in extreme longevity.