Efforts to promote successful and active aging are currently in development in Florianopolis, capital of Santa Catarina State, South Brazil. This initiative emerged in 2006 from a partnership between the City Administration (Health and Social Services Departments) with the city’s universities (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and Universidade do Desenvolvimento do Estado de Santa Catarina). This partnership made possible a unification of a number of small existing programs linked to the Global Strategy for an Elderly Citizen’s Social Protection Network. The integrated program was named Floripativa, acronyms for the city’s nickname "Floripa," and "ativa," which means "active" in Portuguese.
The program organizers identify people suffering from chronic degenerative diseases early on and register them at Health Centers (HC) in order to successfully manage and/or threat these conditions. Physical activity is used as an important tool for the Floripativa program due to its benefits in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation, morbidity, mortality, and costs. With this in mind, Floripativa adds programs of rehabilitation and physical education to the routine primary healthcare (covered by the public healthcare system, known as "SUS") of patients diagnosed with chronic disease and conditions.
Floripativa offers a progressive and gradual health promotion program throughout three phases. After the diagnosis, patients are referred to the Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic Rehabilitation (CPMR) programs (phase A) that are carried out by physiotherapists. When patients have completed this program, they are referred for phase B in which they are offered different prevention programs carried out by physical education professionals. Patients with specific conditions such as depression, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases are also referring to specialists. The final stage is the health promotion phase (C) and is targeted to patients whose diseases are under control. In this stage physical activity classes are taught three times a week, with a duration of 60 minutes each. These activities place emphasis on aerobic fitness, strength, and balance, and are carried out by physical education professionals.
Phases A and B of the Floripativa demonstration project have been implemented in 4 HC, and this year is being extended to another 8 HC, with the expectation that eventually it will be implemented in all of the health authority’s administrative regions (53 HC). A larger impact is observed in phase C where 25 HC are currently engaged in these activities, and also with plans of expansion.
Floripativa currently benefits 70 older adults on phase A, 125 on phase B, and 600 on phase C. The results of the demonstration project have shown that the elderly participants reduced significantly their consumption of medication, were admitted to hospitals less often, and attended fewer medical consultations, and also improved their overall physical fitness, functional capacity, and self-esteem.
More information about Floripativa is available (in Spanish) at http://www.pmf.sc.gov.br/saude/.