“They take care of us as if we were family”
“I’ve been living here for a year and a half, all the assistants and nurses are fantastic and take care of us as if we were their family,” explains smiling Birte, an 84-year-old Danish woman who came to Marbella five decades ago and today lives in Mayores Cuevas de San Marcos (Malaga), a center entirely managed by Clece. Birte also confesses that it is “difficult to live alone when you are older, you need to be cared for, to help you and there are many good people here. As very well and, given this current Covid situation, they have tested us and take our temperature several times a day. We are very controlled ”.
What Birte misses the most, as detailed, is “going out for a walk, seeing shops, doing some errands, having a coffee in a cafeteria or simply watching people go by. But I understand that we are in a complicated situation that sooner or later will pass and we will be able to move on ”. For now, she says in an affectionate tone, “I’m going for a walk in a very nice patio that we have here because I don’t want my legs to go numb. I also really like to read and every night I talk to my daughters, one of whom lives in Los Angeles and the other in England, through video calls to tell them about my day and also see my three granddaughters. The girls who are here help us a lot and they know our lives very well to make us feel comfortable ”.
Laura Cantero, head of the Residential Service, draws attention to this last aspect, the fact of knowing in depth the life of the elderly who live in the residences managed by Clece, because she ensures that it is key that they feel their centers as true homes . “After the months of the pandemic, contrary to the bad impression that has been given of the work of some residences, we know even more if possible the preferences, tastes, customs of our residents because that is how we give them the best of ourselves. ”, He comments.
A model of person-centered care
At Clece, which looks after the care and health of more than 4,000 elderly people who live in the 61 residences that they manage in an integral way throughout the national territory, Cantero highlights that they have implemented a model of care centered on the person who enjoys big success. “It is a model that is not only assistance, but also fosters the capacities of users through their tastes or the professions they had when they lived at home or before retiring. And, for this, we need to know everything and also know their families, not just be the people who take care of them ”, Cantero explains.
The Valladolid woman, who has dozens of anecdotes about it, shares some exciting stories that, of course, go directly through the heart. “We do activities with them that have a meaning for them because for us the most important thing is people. We want to serve them respecting their customs and routines, listen to them and give them what they need. Knowing them and, above all, not making them childish, letting them act and decide as free adults ”, he adds.
Cantero remembers with special affection a user of the Parquesol Residence who was a music teacher and had always played the piano, had had a stroke and was hunched over in the wheelchair, barely moving. There, in the center, she details, curiously they have a piano and the receptionist one day began to play it and, feeling the force of the music, the resident raised her arms, put them on the keys. “We all were left with creeps when we saw her do it,” he says.
Another resident, Cantero fondly remembers, loves cooking workshops because she had cooked in her restaurant all her life. “We left him the potatoes, onions and eggs to make an omelette and in a moment he had everything peeled and prepared. Of course, she enjoyed doing what she had always done and in recent years while living alone she couldn’t because, for safety, she had the fires sealed at home, ”she says.
“We love seeing them happy and enjoying all the activities. Now everything is a bit restricted because things have to be done with small groups due to the Covid, but we continue to get to know them and stimulate their capacities so that they continue to be active, working and doing physical exercise. We really want to take good care of them and be their family ”, Cantero concludes.