Nuestra Casa home, Madrid

José Manuel Fernández López, resident

I think the the Fundación Esther Koplowitz has become reference point in the field of care for the elderly.


Nuestra Casa home, Madrid
How old are you?

I am seventy three. That question doesn't bother me. I have never hidden it.


What did you do before you retired?

When I was a child, growing up physically and mentally, making the most of the difficulties to reach full maturity. When I was 17 something happened that changed my pleasant life: my mother died. I carried on studying. The Dean of the Bar Society of Madrid, señor Escobedo, offered his help. 

From that moment I became the “assistant” to the group of Lawyers of that law firm. José Castán Tobeñas, the President of the Supreme Court, sponsored me and honoured me with his friendship. When I finished my university studies I had lots of experience in practising that profession. 

Spain was a dictatorship; I wanted it to be a democracy. I paid for that. I had successes in my professional life, including financial ones. I got married and was blessed with two daughters. I have two lovely daughters.

I don't know why I separated from my family. My unequalled wife and my two beloved daughters. I left them and ran away to Ibiza. I tried to start a new life. My past came back to me. I broke away from everything. I started to breathe in 1991, and on 28 February 2001 I had my first stroke. After that I had more and more, five in total. First “La Concha”, “La Beata”, “mi casa” and the “Mi Casa” home. That is the story of my current life.


How many years have you been in the home?

I came here on 21 June 2004. I have been here eleven years and ten months. I remember the first people who welcomed me when I came here, Virginia, Raquel, Angelines, Lourdes, Sara, nowadays I can call them my friends.


What is a day in the home like?

The week-day routine is adapted to the needs of the resident. I didn't find it hard to get used to it. Breakfast, functional and occupational therapy. I visit the café where I read and chat with people and we exchange views.

At half past one we have lunch, a rest, afternoon snack and some time to ourselves. Dinner at half past eight. After that we go to bed. And on our own, the restful night comes. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays we spend the day doing activities that we enjoy..


What do you think of the home?

The home is very good. Some aspects could be improved.


What do you like to do?

I would like to be more independent. I thank the Lord for what He has given me. I dream of a fairytale happiness, but that is impossible.


How are you living this stage in your life?

With the hope of reaching the promised destination. 


How would you rate the contribution of the Fundación Esther Koplowitz to this project?

I think by making this building and fitting it out and with its constant support for ideas that have come up about how to improve it, the Fundación Esther Koplowitz has become a reference point in the field of care for the elderly.

Thanks to Esther, her family, the FCC volunteers, the patrons, the Adavir group and the workers.   


Do you have any stories you would like to share?
I could tell you about one-off events in my life, not with yearning but with optimism. I think that “water that has run by doesn't turn the mill”. And so giving thanks for this, forgiveness for the errors and the harm I might have caused, I try to face each new day with the conviction that I am making the most of my experiences. I believe in God…