This Friday is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day designated by the UN in order to raise awareness in society that disability is part of the human condition and invite everyone to promote inclusion and make the comprehensive care they need in certain cases available to these groups.
One of the spaces dedicated to the comprehensive care of people with intellectual and physical disabilities is the CAMP of San José de las Longueras, in the Canary Islands, managed by Clece. Yurena Hernández, the director of the center, proudly explains that “we are a great support for the families, but what satisfies me the most and what fills me the most is that we work with love, dedication and a lot of professionalism with all users”.
Comprehensive 24-hour care
The director also details that the center is “a resource and support for adults with intellectual disabilities who may also have mental disorders and / or behavioral disorders, in need of a third person and external support.” In San José de las Longueras, says Hernández, there is a structure divided into two parts: residential and day care. “For families, both services are very important because some people need 24-hour care that, on some occasions, they cannot give them at home. For example, something as simple as a bathroom or raising them to bed we do with a crane and the family members do not have them at home ”, he says.
At this time, a total of 54 people live in this CAMP permanently, some of them protected by the Cabildo and others by their families. In the day center, which now has some restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has a total of 25 places – all covered – that provide daytime service with comprehensive care. “We work with them to maintain their autonomy at the highest level and for as long as possible. At this time, however, we have divided users into two bubble groups in order to protect them from a possible contagion from Covid, ”says Hernández.
“For them we are much more than the people who work here, we are their family”
The CAMP of San José de las Longueras has a professional technical team that works in a coordinated way to give users the best care. This team consists of social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists or social integrators who are in charge of organizing the activities.
“The care is complete, comprehensive. The ratio we have is one caregiver for four users. All his work makes it possible for the people who live in this center to have their daily routine, their cleaning, their breakfast; but there are also many activities organized taking into account the technical needs of each of the users ”, explains the director of the Canarian CAMP.
The general staff of this Canarian CAMP is 130 people. There are morning, afternoon and night shifts so that users are attended 24 hours a day. All the coordination of the center, from general services to leisure outings for users, is carried out by Tamara Espino. “My functions are to coordinate the caregiver staff, take direct care of users, coordinate general services staff and user groups, as well as outings, whether for leisure or with family members, I do administrative tasks, etc.”, he says .
Work on the playful part to maintain their autonomy
The activities are a very important stimulus for people with disabilities, therefore, from the CAMP of San José de las Longueras they organize dozens of leisure outings. “We go with them to the Parque de la Condesa, for example, which they like a lot. Now with the Covid we try that everything is outdoors, in open spaces as allowed by equine therapy. In the center, for example, music therapy is very successful, the Police have come with dogs to explain how they work with animals and at Christmas we will also do activities, although I still cannot anticipate anything “, he concludes.
“The most complicated thing at this time,” says Espino, “is the pandemic situation we have been through because it has deprived them of doing their little pleasures with them, such as going out to a cafeteria or shopping center for a walk. Everything has been very limited for them, much more than for the rest of society, because, in addition, they get frustrated when they do not understand what is happening or the reason why they do not see their relatives beyond a video call . Hopefully everything happens soon and we can work the playful part with them without restrictions ”.
“We work for users, so that they have the best quality of life”
Hernández, in this international conference dedicated to disability, states that the most satisfactory thing about his work at CAMP is “working for users. I sincerely want them to be their best and to have the best quality of life. Their life is here and many of them will probably end their life here. For this reason, I want to give them all the affection and affection so that they have a warm life ”.
For his part, Espino states that he started working at the CAMP of San José de las Longueras in 2013 and that he loves working with this group. “They are the best thing about developing my profession here, it is true that with some of them you cannot have verbal communication, but it does not matter, it is wonderful that they look at you with gratitude, with a smile. They thank you, even though they can’t tell you and that satisfies me and makes me happy. For them we are more than the people who work here, for them we are their family ”.