The Department of Community Development (DCD), Family Development Foundation, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Mubadala Health they launched the ‘Forever Fit’ program in Abu Dhabi, the program is aimed at boosting healthy practices among the elderly population of the emirate, by using behavioral mechanisms. It offers numerous physical fitness regimes that assist in maintaining the highest level of health and wellbeing, resulting in enhanced personal, mental, and physical balance for a better life.
H.E. Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, said: “Keeping the health and well-being of the elderly in mind, we have launched the Forever Fit program in collaboration with three major entities with an aim to support and enhance the lifestyle of the elderly. Through these partnerships, we aim at strengthening mutual relations and work in tandem to realise our goals. The collaborative program focuses on exchanging expertise in scientific research and studies on development of community services and programs that fosters an active and responsible community. It aims at enhancing the fitness and quality of life of the citizens, especially the senior citizens in the emirate. By encouraging the elderly to participate in various physical activities, the program is set to achieve the highest level of health and wellbeing and create personal, mental, and physical balance for them.”
H.E. Al Dhaheri added: “The Department of Community Development is committed to study and monitor the quality of life in Abu Dhabi through surveys that convey the opinions of the community members, which will help us in determining their needs and aspirations pertaining to major social matters. This program marks a significant step towards elderly engagement in healthy practices and encouraging them to participate in activities appropriate for their age, which include various simple exercises that are not strenuous and can be done at home.”
Al Dhaheri emphasized on the ‘Forever Fit’ program providing a regime of various age-appropriate physical exercises that will benefit the senior citizens and help them become more active. He highlighted the Department’s constant efforts to address challenges and priority social issues that could be difficult to manage through traditional strategies, in addition to encouraging community member to adopt a healthy and athletic lifestyle.
H.E. Mariam Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Director General of the Family Development Foundation, said: “On October 1 every year, the International Day for Older Persons is celebrated across the globe. In line with the directives of our wise leadership and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the nation cares greatly for the elderly and considers them to be an important part of the society. The country aims at providing a comprehensive set of legislation, policies, and services, ensuring proper care, habilitation, development, and protection of the elderly, which guarantees their stability and enhances their quality of life and participation in society.”
H.E. Al Rumaithi emphasized on the efforts of the Family Development Foundation to support the government’s aspirations. It plays a significant role in implementing the guidelines and directives set by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the "Mother of the Nation", which aims at providing an integrated support system and utilize the capabilities of the elderly population in the society, as they are the pride and role models for our generation and the next.
H.E. Al Rumaithi highlighted the Foundation’s expertise in providing exceptional social support to the elderly, by limiting risks, elevating security factors and utilizing their experience and wisdom for the benefit of the society. It further focuses on the segments of the society that need social help and support, ensuring an all-inclusive society and enhanced mental health.
She explained that based on the estimate of Statistics Center-Abu Dhabi for 2021, the number elderly, has reached 51679, with 19704 Emiratis and 31975 residents. She further shed light on the Foundation’s efforts to establish a database for senior citizens in Abu Dhabi between 2020-2021, aiming at reaching senior citizens, Emiratis and residents, to evaluate their conditions, and determining their needs for programs and services that the institutions offer. They also focused on determining the possible risk factors that have an impact on the quality of life.
She added: “We have been in contact with 24,645 citizens within the database and evaluated their conditions and requirements. After the evaluation, we found 1,453 senior citizens with possible risk factors. In light of this, we have devised social support services and assistance line for senior citizens to provide necessary services, in collaboration with DCD, the leader in Abu Dhabi’s social sector, along with several other relevant entities. 33,246 senior citizens benefitted from these services in 2021.”
She additionally highlighted the importance of mutual collaborations to provide maximum benefits to the senior citizens and promote their quality of life. The ‘Fitness Forever’ MoU signed between the DCD, Mubadala Health, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, will facilitate the increase in fitness levels and quality of life for the elderly. Under this agreement, social and health protective services come together within a framework to promote integrated services and ensures an overall social impact on the lives of the senior citizens in Abu Dhabi. This partnership will serve as a role model for designing mutual services by specialized authorities in promoting the health and safety of the elderly, further ensuring their safety, stability, and integration within the community.
H.E Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of ADSC said: “The ‘Forever Fit’ programs is a modern and innovative initiative, which offers the senior citizens a safe and secure regime of physical activities ti maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle. The ADSC will offer theoretical and practical awareness lectures for the elderly, under the supervision of Mubadala Health, in order to achieve the key goal of the program.”
He further highlighted that the new program reflects the dedication and efforts of our wise leadership to provide continuous support to seamlessly implement the ambitious national initiatives to promote safety, health, and fitness for all segments of the society, especially the elderly, and positively influence Abu Dhabi’s quality of life. This program is an extension of the awareness programs, which are aimed at strengthening the concept of sports and enhancing physical fitness and health of the elderly.
H.E. Al Awani expressed his pride in the collaboration with DCD and other entities to implement program that aligns with the ADSC’s plans and initiatives to promote the community’s engagement in sports. It further aims to encourage the senior citizens to participate in physical activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The ADSC is committed to present opportunities in supporting the program and making it a success.
Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Health, said: "There is no doubt that senior citizens are our role models and a key pillar of our society. We, at Mubadala Health, are proud to participate in this significant program, which reflects our constant commitment to offer an international standard of health care for all community members.”
He added: “Our integrated network of healthcare facilities enables our medical team to assess the health conditions of Emirati and resident senior citizens that participate in the program. We will conduct necessary checkups, while the health will additionally monitor the health conditions of participants using latest medical innovations. The senior citizens participating in the program will be provided with a medical sticker that will constantly monitor their vitals, which will be examined by our medical operations management center. This will ensure their safety and secure environment throughout the program. We look forward to a fruitful result for the initiative with enhanced health and safety for all community members.”