On Tuesday 16th June, SIforAGE members Ieva Stončikaitė (from Group DEDAL-LIT, Universitat de Lleida) and Cristina Astier (from UB-GISME) participated in an event organized by Obra Social “La Caixa” in Girona.
The event brought together a wide range of practitioners, researchers, and volunteers working in the ageing field. The main aim of this workshop was to participate in drawing a guide mainly concerning the education of carers. The final objective is to generate a public debate on the need to guarantee both older persons and carers wellbeing. Moreover, this initiative is called: Persons First: taking care as we’d like to be treated. In more detail, there are five lines of action that this project aims at undertaking. The first one is to generate a reflective process and a public debate on care and its consequences. Secondly, it aims at gathering wishes, worries, needs, and preferences when imagine what would be to actually need to be cared by someone. Thirdly, to promote mutual good treatment in situations of dependence, warrant person’s dignity and commitment. Fourth, to draw an equilibrium among to care and to be cared giving voice to carers needs. Finally, this guide aims at promoting innovation in the prevention sphere.
SIforAGE was participating in a brainstorming activity with people working on different spheres of the ageing field, from retired people, to experts, and researchers, through actual carers. The discussion was enlightening and a fruitful mutual learning session. The most important points that rose in the discussion were: the ethical limits of caring, and the importance of respecting the dignity of the person cared. People agreed that, to do so, it would be really good to care from empowerment; this is to say, to give the dependent persons the tools needed to help her or him overcome her or his barriers. This practice combines with the idea of a society for all ages. To empower anyone has a direct impact in her or his participation and inclusion in society, one of the main aims of SIforAGE.
Regarding innovative ways of caring, experts and practitioners of this session brought out the recent practice of the so called “co-housing”. This is a system in which older persons and dependents have their own space shared with people like them, where they can be assisted by carers and professionals if needed. This innovative idea wants to empower older people by giving them further choices than a residence. In this regard, the discussion was whether it would be better ageing at home or at a residence or special houses like in the above mentioned option.
Finally, this session discussed whether, in the future, it should be people of the family, the primary sources of care for both older persons and dependents, or it would rather be professionals working in the field. The group did not reach an agreement on this point, and the discussion is still open.