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Monday 25.09.2017 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Pensioner guide: old people are isolated from society in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«In my experience with social care, I was surprised by the dominating belief that the only thing old people need is elementary care – some food, a wash and a walk outside. Psychology of old people is something completely alien to people in Latvia,» says initiator of Pensioners Guide in Latvia Nelli Skadina.

This is why she studies caritative social work at Latvian Christian Academy, because it is education that teaches a person to provide spiritual support.

Skadina has also noticed that private old people’s homes, in which prices are high, are overcrowded. This means Latvia has a separate social layer – people who are too busy with work and have no time to offer enough attention to their old relatives.

Skadina shares her personal experience: «As a pensioner guide I was asked by some of my relatives to visit an old man in an old people’s home. He was depressed and lived with the thought that he had been sent there to get rid of the responsibility of taking care of him.»

She continues: «He rejected my offer to go on a walk, but he proudly announced to everyone who entered his room – I have a guest. I understood just how important it is for him not to feel lonely.»

Skadina mentioned another example: «Another woman I’d met there lost the ability to talk after a stroke. I offered to go for a walk, and we did. The gratitude I saw in her eyes made me very happy.»

Retired old people in European countries, especially western countries, lead completely different lives when compared to Latvia, Skadina says. «They have a spark in their eyes. They use their remaining years to fulfil their old dreams. English parks are full of senior people enjoying their lives. Younger people are seldom seen – they are busy working and studying.»

«In Latvia, on the other hand, there are very few pensioners in parks,» says Skadina.

She says she got the idea to create Latvian movement Pensioner Guide from Western Europe – it is very popular there for pensioners to take guides with them on walks or different culture events.

She adds with confidence: «Investments and efforts we, society, put in today to improve a pensioner’s life will later form our future lives. Everyone should think about the life in retirement they would like to have».

Ref: 225.109.109.5601


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