Health is one of the big challenges we face in our society.
By meeting the service providers but also the older people and their carers, we realized that there was a real stake in this project. Both students and professionals are really involved and both hope for a better future.
Simple games and questions about everyday life helped us to engage with the older people and to exchange lots of ideas during the workshop last wednesday. Our deduction was quite simple : older people aren’t different ! For the majority of them, what they find the most important thing is continuing doing the very basics : talking, cooking, eating, walking, reading, sleeping… They all have their own preferences wether it be traveling, knitting, playing music, going to the cinema etc…
But this all gets complicated as they get ill, sometimes in a very unexpected way. All of a sudden, they have to deal at the same time with carers, volunteers, social care, health care, their family, and they feel lost, torn between their private life and their health.
In our society, aging is regarded as something unpleasant, we don’t want to get old. Getting frail and dependent is not “fun”. Instead of thinking about our future, we tend to forget it, to defeating age and put off this question until later. And because of this, there is a lack of preparation : we don’t plan ahead, we don’t deal with health in advance.
In a conversation with representatives from the social and health care departments we figured out that one of the main points of “anticipatory care” should actually be about stoping admissions to hospital, since this is often crucial for older people.
But we also have to see what else is related to health and to the different stages of life and what actually prepares you to get older.
We have to take into consideration our education, the informations around us, and everything else that could foster us to act in advance.
Also one important aspect is that they have the ability of taking decisions by themselves, taking risks and be aware of them. Knowing what is good for them and what they need to keep fit. It’s important for them to continuing being involved in the community and have the feeling of fulfillment.
We have to focus on how do they fit into society, what do they take and what do they give, what can we all learn from them and vice-versa. Their contribution is a key point to afford older people having a good older life and enjoying their later years.