Church and society

Portugal: Union of the Houses of Mercy, a congress about elderly people’s future

“Houses of Mercy: an emblem of solidarity” is the theme around which “elderly people’s future in Portugal in the current socio-economic scenario” will be discussed at the 12th National Congress of the Portuguese Union of the Houses of Mercy (Ump), hosted by the multipurpose Pavilhão in the town of Fundão (Castelo Branco) from 2nd to 4th June. “What will the next 25 years be like? What will it mean to be old? What are the key weaknesses in the personal ageing process? How to better integrate the responses of all social areas, from healthcare to safety? These will be some of the problems addressed by the participants. In a press release, UMP explains that on day one the congress will discuss topics such as: “Social economy as a factor for development, solidarity and cohesion in Europe” and “Ageing and politics”. A review of the current welfare system and the challenges it will have to deal with in the next 25 years will be the goal of day two, which will focus “attention on increasingly active ageing and the role of new technology”. Finally, the congress will reflect on the “relationship between sustainability and innovation in an integrated welfare system” and on: “EU funds, innovation and solidarity” and, at the end, the conference will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the House of Mercy of Fundão, in a ceremony hosted by the Portuguese President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.