As a western country, Portugal follows the European pattern of aging. For this reason, over the years, some physical limitations may lead people to look for help with some of their daily tasks.

The Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lagoa is aware of these needs and wants to take a step forward, through the creation of two support mechanisms, the day care centre and the home care and support services.

“The new administrative board of Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lagoa considers that it would be important to give some value to a building (already owned by the entity) and to create a project that has to do with the needs of the municipality of Lagoa”, said the head of Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lagoa, Paulo Francisco, while was explaining the history of the building, located at one of the entrances to the city.

The building has a great legacy. In this sense, all renovations will always take its identity into account and maintain it. For many years, the place that was a hospital later became a health centre before the construction of the new one. After that, there was a period in which it had a continuous care service. At the moment, a new meaning is about to be given to these walls that have always been linked to health.

Home care and support

“Unfortunately, we have many elderly people living alone in Lagoa and many of them don’t have their families close to them. The home care that we intend to develop is a home care in which people can feel supported not only in terms of hygiene and food, but also medical care and wellbeing”, stated Paulo Francisco.

“Through proximity support we want to have many different services that adapt to other sorts of needs, namely people’s health and well-being. For example, having company or just having someone if they need it”, said Paulo Francisco.
The foreign community is also important for Santa Casa da Mesericórdia de Lagoa. However, they recognise that this community usually adopts a very pro-active attitude to the elderly.

“Many of foreigners want to be in their homes, but on the other hand, because they are alone in Portugal, they need that support, to have someone to look after them if they need anything - it can be the purchase of a simple object or medicines. Over the years, the entire population that is becoming older will be more demanding. And we want to be part of that process, providing these structures, meeting their hopes”, he said.

“With the home care, we intend to allow them to stay in their homes, as they like to be, and to bring them the services they need - hygiene service, equipment, meals, but also to bring them someone who can read books to them, for example”, he highlighted.

Day centre

The day care centre will also have the goal of providing well-being and happiness to the users. “There will be a dynamic of indoor and outdoor activities, such as visits to monuments and exhibitions. We will have young and dynamic teams always looking at each individuals, trying to understand their personal preferences - what that person likes to do”, said Paulo Francisco.

In the beginning, they have programmed to start with 30 people in day care and 30 in home care. “From a sustainable point of view, we don’t want to increase the number of people and lose the quality of the service”.

Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lagoa is seeking funding for the project, du to this, there is still no date for the opening of the space, but they hope it will be soon.

For further information, please visit their website at https://www.misericordialagoa.pt/