PLANNING THE FUTURE
som – fundació has got a programme of Preguardianship that informs families and professionals about the procedures of modification of capacity and the forms of preparing the future of persons with learning disabilities or development. The foundation, as well, informs about the tasks developed in the entity. This service tries to promote the mutual knowledge among parents, relatives or legal guardians of a person with learning disabilities and the entity. This way, the foundation offers them security and confidence for the future.
On this occasion, we want to introduce Maria R. and Joan M., Gabriel’s parents that have decided to contact with us to prepare the future of their son when they are not here. They explain to us their experience and, value, at the same time, the service they are receiving from som – fundació, something that helps us to improve our task.
In which moment did you decide to choose the alternative of the guardianship for your son Gabriel?
It was on our 65th birthday when we considered that we were quite old already and we saw that there were not a lot of young people in our family that would take over in being in charge of Gabriel. At that moment, we decided that it would be better to choose professional people to develop that task. We realised that his relatives are leading their own livesand in case Gabriel had problems in the future, they wouldn’t be able to attend him properly. This may sound hard, but we felt more confident in this professional alternative, and thus, we would avoid to put on risk his future.
How did you meet som – fundació?
When we decided to search for an alternative, we asked for help to the professionals of the occupational centre Fupar, where Gabriel has gone for a long time, and they recommended us som – fundació.
Since then, we have been in contact with Lina, responsible of the programme of Preguardianship– and we have had a good feeling since the very first moment we met each other… Lina explained to us all the procedures to guarantee the future of our son. We found right everything she told us and we have had a good relationship with her until these days.
Do you think that the guardianship guarantees the future of persons with learning disabilities when their closest relatives have disappeared?
Yes, of course, this is the reason why we have chosen this alternative. Well, in fact, one can never guarantee totally these matters, but the foundation has capacity, professionals, experience, and can control their performance so that they help properly our son.
Do you feel confident and trustful in the paper the foundation has in the future of Gabriel?
Yes, we are; otherwise, we wouldn’t have taken this decision. As we have already said, each relative leads their own life, and we trust the foundation, although the absolute tranquillity is impossible. But we are sure that we have left everything well arranged.
Do you consider that Gabriel is aware of your decision?
Yes, he is. Some time ago, we started to explain to him what it may happen in the futureto all of us. We have told him that he will go to a home residence, that he will be with other boys and that som-fundació is an entity that will help him in case something may happen to us.
Gabriel always answers that there is a long time before that happens. We do not insist on the matter. All we want is to see him happy.
How do you value the free service offered by som-fundació in the area of Preguardianship, from the point of view of information, advice and support to families?
We value it very positively all the information Lina – the person responsible of the Preguardianship – when we came the first time to the foundation. And we find very positive the contact we are having now, since, although, we meet from time to time, it is a very warm relationship.
Talking with Lina, she always tells us that we should do this and that… but perhaps we could wait a bit more. And this relationship is a bit tender, because a person who is not a relative of us is giving us the necessary option for our son. She accepts the comments we may make her, and besides she gives us advice in those necessary procedures. And she also transmits us tranquillity, because we know that when in doubt, we can give her a call and find the most adequate solution for a problem.
Which is your assessment of the different channels of communication of som-fundació: “Coses Nostres” birthday greetings, Memory, Christmas Greetings, Website, Social network?
We are pleased to have a look at “Coses Nostres” that you are an open entity that participates in seminars, symposiums, that organises activities, that incorporates volunteers to the entity, and above all, all those tender things that happen to your pupils, such as birthdays celebrations, changes of home….
We haven’t visited the web yet, but we will do it in a short time, at least to read this interview. We haven’t entered either Facebook. We find social networks a bit …. (Laughs).
As a person who makes donations to the foundation, do you think that we must make any specific communication to inform people extensively about the development of the different projects carried out during the year: Independent Life, Support to Ageing, etc.?
We do not need further information for the time being. We think that the money you receive from benefactors is well used. We feel very satisfied because we have known you for five years and the foundation has grown a lot and everyone thinks that the money is well used. If the money is not used for a certain purpose, they are surely used for another one.
We have enough information from the memory, because all the projects are explained there. We find the memory very clear and trustful because you see that things go well. We do not normally have a lot of doubts. Sometimes, things are just quite simple. You work well, we help and prepare our child for his future. Just that.
Thanks a lot, indeed, Maria and Joan, for sharing your experience with us.