Director of Pego Social Care Home
How does the Third Age Support Home project and its work affect the lives of the people who inhabit it and use it?
This Social Care Centre has a very positive and significant impact on the lives of our citizens who reside here now, as if being with their own families.
In general, the 68 residents are very generous people, 35 of them are 88 or more years old and 15 of them are over 90, with an average age of 85.4 years. And as well as being elderly most are sick or have a dependency.
Because of the specialized care provided to them, their quality of life, like that of their families, is manifestly superior to that which they would otherwise have.
The designed and constructed space, with its huge windows and balconies, allows for intense light and proximity to the landscape and the countryside, feeding memories of many of the residents who lived and worked in these and other areas.
This building allows full integration of the residents within their natural environment. They can see and feel the murmurs and aromas of the mountains, when time is slow and light and days are made of smiles and they exchange stories about work and from the balconies and through the windows the rays of sunshine flood living spaces and illuminate the twilight of life ...
What importance does it also have for the development of the county and the region?
The quality of the project, the imaginative use of fully operational space, helps provide the healthy athmosohere that we demand from a home like this. It is a strong component of the obligation on all of us to consider that people are people, with the right to comfort and dignity until the last moment of their lives.
It is a project aimed at the entire population of the municipality of Abrantes and it guarantees quality and, in its daily practices, affirms its role as an extension of the family, a good family. This new elderly people’s home is humanised by the frequent contact that proximity allows.
It also guarantees the existence of the necessary conditions for functional normality of the families, because the necessary social responses are available to all age groups in this area.
What new dynamic has it brought to the rural and social development of Pego and how do you characterize it?
In this institution, in the service that is provided with differing social responses: Day Center, Domiciliary Support, Nursery, Kindergarten and Home in addition to the service provided, which society at large recognises as good quality, with the comfort and greater tranquility that results in support for families, more than 90 jobs were generated.
The creation of those jobs, which are mainly filled by women, who are generally long-term unemployed, are, in themselves a statement that the Pego Social Center is a socially important institution in all aspects, to who ever receives services, to those who develop them and to society in general.
From this project, from this work, directly and indirectly, there is a visible impact, both socially and economically.
As for the Home itself, from the experience and dynamic that is characteristic of each day, comes satisfaction provided by the necessary care to the residents - hygiene, health, food, animation, image and the spirit of living - it is also a challenge or maybe even a uncomfortable fact to those in this area, as well as to society in general, to recognise that these homes are necessary and are being provided for very elderly people, they are not and never can be, a place to “clear away elderly people then after ... it is whatever God wants”.
Everyone is a person and up to the last moment they have the right to dignity that is due to all human beings.
Many people speak of the desertification of the interior of the country. Here, and in this work, we face it, every day.