The pandemic derived from Covid-19 is unleashing great emotional consequences. With the aim of responding to this situation and empowering the elderly in times of difficulty, the “la Caixa” Foundation launches the ‘Living with Sense’ program in which more than 6,500 older people are expected to participate. In the Canary Islands, 153 people are participating so far.
During the 9 training sessions a space for reflection is created where readings by different thinkers are combined as individual and collective reflection exercises. The program is divided into four blocks, where the following aspects will be addressed: losses (how to cope with the death of our loved ones, but also how to manage symbolic losses: for example, unrecoverable time); care (the importance of understanding vulnerability, learning to care and take care of ourselves); loneliness (delving into coping with loneliness in old age and empowering ourselves to be able to manage it) and life project (developing personal resources that help us find meaning and meaning in the new situation, aligning ourselves with our values and interests).
This pioneering project is part of the Personal Development and Life Cycle area of the Elderly People Program of the ”la Caixa” Foundation and has been conceived with a methodology that allows adapting the various resources and strategies to online and face-to-face formats throughout of the year. Anyone registered in the activities promoted by the ”la Caixa” Foundation in the territory can participate.
“In times of predominant communication through screens, the disparity between being connected and feeling connected has become more evident. The pandemic has confronted us with fundamental questions about our humanity and has made us wonder about the meaning of life. With this program, we want the elderly to regain control of their own lives, filling them with meaning ”, underlined Dr. Javier Yanguas, scientific director of the Program for the Elderly at the” la Caixa ”Foundation.
The importance of having personal tools
The current situation has highlighted the importance of personal resources to cope with isolation and loneliness in any context. The Elderly People Program of the ”la Caixa” Foundation followed up on users of senior centers throughout the State confined to their homes to analyze their strengths. Among the conclusions drawn from this qualitative analysis, it should be noted that it is the people with a more positive and proactive view of loneliness who have best “resisted” this confinement.
In June 2020, he launched a survey of almost 3,000 elderly people after the months of confinement, and revealed a complicated situation, which has been increasing: 80% of the people interviewed admit to being afraid of the future; 70% of the people interviewed believe that the quality of life of future generations will worsen and 52% of the sample manifests loneliness.
More than 100 years with the elderly
The ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Senior Citizens Program, with more than one hundred years of history, has the strategic objective of addressing the new challenges that arise in old age. At present, it is committed to generating models based more on “being” than on “doing” and by focusing on the development of a personal project. In this way, he wants to make possible a new stage in old age that is worth living with realism and responsibility, enjoying and also contributing.