Nuestra Casa home, Madrid
Since 2009 when I joined the Adavir group. They have managed the home since it opened.
The facilities opened on 21 November 2001. It started operating and users started to enter on that day.
As the population ages, changes are taking place in family patterns that might increase the risk of isolation for many older people. On top of this, with life expectancy continuing to increase the care needs of old people are getting ever greater and more important.
Public institutions have significantly increased their areas of activity in social policies, but as the needs are so great a door has opened for philanthropi support as well. The activities of the Esther Koplowitz Foundation in creating homes to meet the needs of older people Is an example of this.
Based on this philosophy of caring for older people, the Esther Koplowitz Foundation reached an agreement to build and equip a home for the Madrid regional government on public land. Once completed it was donated to the old health department so it could add it to its public service network.
The home is located in the Sierra de Madrid mountains. This is a very special place with a mild climate, in a pleasant setting with magnificent views of the mountains.
The aim of the project was to create a pleasant atmosphere for the elderly, with spacious, bright and welcoming areas. The idea was to create areas that could provide positive energy and calm.
The views, the attention to detail and the aesthetic of the whole building really do make it possible to “look on the bright side”. It really doesn't seem like you are in a home but rather somewhere to rest and relax.
The idea of the home's name came at the very start. It is designed to make sure that occupants really feel like they are in their own home. To a great extent, we are achieving this aim.
I think the main difference is the type of occupants of the home. They are mainly people with serious illnesses and with fewer resources in society. We also take into account the family situation we encounter, with regards to solitude and care.
With this in mind we try to create spacious, bright and welcoming areas with a warm, kind and friendly atmosphere, and we always look for positivity. We try to make them feel at home.
About 100 people from different professional categories work here.
The truth is it works like a big family. The everyday activities are planned around the basic needs of the occupants, according to the organisation of their diet, hygiene, medical care and, of course, not forgetting the technical element that allows them to keep doing their everyday activities in their normal life.
We also encourage leisure activities that facilitate their emotional development.
We try to make it seem like it was in their home, maintaining meal times and providing them with activities and treatments in our different areas that we have: psychology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Leisure is also important and we work on this with our socio-cultural animator. This includes lots of outings and activities.
Our technical team is always trying to develop attractive activities, always with close and friendly treatment so that they feel integrated, as though they are part of a big family.
The contribution by the Fundación Esther Koplowitz has been fundamental; as well as creating these magnificent facilities, it has carried on taking care of our old people through its monitoring committee for the centre, looking out for their well-being. It has always been very nice to them so that they don't feel alone. It is commendable work.
The maximum capacity is 140 occupants (100 in single rooms, 40 in double rooms) and 45 in the day centre. However, we are reaching 50 people in total in the day centre as they come two or three times a week.
From Mondays to Fridays we pick the day centre people up from their homes in the morning (between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m.) and we drop them off at home at around 7:00 p.m.
The activities included in the timetables of the technical teams, depending on each user and his or her needs and the areas where improvement is required.
The FCC volunteers have always been a very important group in the home. They have taken care of our old people, giving them support with whatever they need, and fundamentally with something that is hard to provide: company and warmth.
It is hard to pick one thing in particular, but if I had to decide, I would say the 'Home Fridays'. These are a window to the outside world that opens up every Friday. It makes them feel happier and more content.