February 16. 2022 – The University’s Gender Center headed by Ms. Emily A. Dela Cruz launched its one-year Health and Wellness Program for Faculty and Administrative Personnel. This special project is in cooperation with the University’s Human Resource Development Office headed by, Mr. Bonnie S. Arenal.

First topic on the loop is Understanding Aging and Dementia lectured online by Mr. Richthofen C. De Jesus. In his 11-year career as a psychologist, he obtained licenses both as a Psychometrician and Psychologist from the Professional Regulatory Commission; a certification in Dementia Rating from the University of Washington-St. Louis, Missouri; and a Certification in Psychological First Aid from the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.

This half-day webinar focused mainly on the society’s view of aging, early signs of dementia and how to handle this kind of condition. A short film based on true story was aired also for better understanding of what is happening to an aging person suffering from dementia.

Many would think that if you age, you can no longer go out often, you are weak and sickly, you are dying, etc. When society talks about aging, they often see it as negative and that’s what we will do today. We will change that perception and I will help you try to understand that aging can be done in a graceful way…” Mr. De Jesus explained during his introduction.

Different questions and clarifications from the attendees

were entertained and answered towards the last part of the webinar.

This very timely topic surfaced because based on the Sex-Disaggregated Data in 2021, The University has an aging population. More than one-third of the faculty (36% of the male and 37% of the female faculty) are 50 years old and above. On the other hand, of the 154 permanent administrative personnel, 50% of the male and 45% of the female administrative personnel are on the same age group.

“Looking into the health and well-being of our employees is a pre-requisite to ensuring effective delivery of services. Employee wellness program provide a number of benefits. Having one, signals that we value our employees’ health and well-being and this can lead to improved employee morale. This will eventually result to reduced absenteeism, lower health care cost and better productivity”, the rationale of the project as explained by Ms. Dela Cruz, Director of GAD Center.