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“WHEN HE WORKED, HE COULDN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE; HE JUST COULDN’T CHOOSE. NOW, HE CAN DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH HIS LIFE”

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Sometimes, in the rapid pace of our everyday life it is difficult see further than our working task. We may go shopping, have a drink with your friends, but still our work is the central axis of our daily existence.

But, what happens when you get rid of this routine? The sudden inactivity of the retirement and, on many occasions, loneliness, associated with the action of getting older and losing our closest relatives makes that our life gets worse in a period as important as our third age.This is the moment, so, to carry out this double task: take care of ourselves, and/or let people take care of us – psychologically, so that we cannot lose our daily activities, and be careful with our health, when this starts to be get deteriorated. This phenomenon happens to all of us, and frequently we need an exterior support that offers us resources to make easier this process.

The pilot project Active Ageing, headed by Dincat and implemented by Som Fundació, among other federal entities, wants to provide tools to several people with learning disabilities or with development that are in this situation. Ricard is an example, a man under our guardianship, just retired that needs to occupy his leisure time doing activities that enrich him.

Ricard is a prudent person, he speaks few words but well chosen. He is unquiet, intelligent, sensitive, romantic …, and even, mystic. He likes reading and listening to music. You always find in his house the headphones hanging from his Hi-Fi, a pile of CDs, and empty boxes of their tapes. He likes walk along the ancient quartier of Barcelona, his borough, and have a look at old books in the “flea markets”. He lets his intuition lead him when he buys, has a look at the cover, the title, browses the book. He has in his hands today his last two acquisitions: Anthology of Spanish Poetry and El Libro del Buen Amor, and while we are talking with him , he is browsing the books and taking notes on a note book, or write his own lines of poetry.

He recognises his loneliness and wants to share his free time with more people, play table games, walk around the city, and participate in a club of reading. This is what he tells Enric, the person that accompanies him in this way and provides him the resources he considers more appropriate to give answer to his needs.

“I ask him, what do you want to do, Ricard? Because it is him who must motivate himself, who must choose what to do and I offer him the resources. When he worked, he couldn’t do anything else, he couldn’t choose. Now, he can decide what to do with his life”, Enric comments.

They see each other every week and have a coffee in a bar near his house, and decide what to do. The other day, for example, They visited radio Nikosia, a radio station where they shared their experiences; today, they debate whether they go to The Centre Civic Cívic Drassanes, to see what activities are going on, or if the will go another day.

According to Enric, this is a clear case: “He needs a push to his day by day life. Other people have a routine, that sometimes needs a certain modification, but Ricard needs this help more clearly. . He is a very sincere person when claiming his demands and we understand each other very well. This helps to work together”.

So, the project Active Ageing, works so that people like Ricard can get older in a very active, dignified, and healthy way. This is an initiative that we hope to consolidate and that can benefit to more people.

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