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Senior Centers in Panama

Project Overview

Hogar San Antonio Elderly Center – Los Santos
The SimplyHelp Foundation built this Senior Center in Los Santos upon the request of Archbishop Jose Dimas Cedeno, who originally voiced the need for elderly care in Los Santos. The center was opened in 2007.

There are 20 residents so far, 4-women and 16-men. Residents are carefully selected; they must be in a position where they have no relatives that can care for them, and they cannot care for themselves. The center has a well equipped nursing room, and the residents have a nurses aid and receive regular doctor visits.

The center is run by a well-qualified administrator, a secretary, a few cooks, and a housekeeper. At night there are personnel present to serve and monitor the seniors. The staff is paid with monetary assistance from retired residents in Los Santos, the Panamanian Ministry of Family, and other donations.

Occasionally, members of the Peña Blanca community take the elderly for walks to the river or the beach. One employee stated: “You notice a good atmosphere in the center and on the trips; you can see the elderly happy and eager to live. Some seem to become younger!”

Though a smaller share of the elderly in Panama are poor (29%), demographic changes indicate that this segment will become an ever-increasing group in the future. At present, there are very few programs in Panama to assist poor, elderly citizens who fall outside the social security system