School of Care, a project that ensures the well-being of those who care for us

more than Five million people in Spain are dedicated to caring for dependent people. About two million people belong to the health and care sector, and they are doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, geriatricians and social workers… and the remaining three million are Family, friends or volunteers Who dedicate themselves, partially or completely, to the care of others.

The profile of a caregiver in Spain is that of a woman aged between 45 and 64, who in almost 80% of cases lives with the person she is caring for, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. Many of them were forced to reduce their working hours or stop working, in addition to assuming… Responsibility and emotional baggage To care for someone in an advanced stage of the disease. but, Who takes care of those who take care of others?

“Caregivers play a crucial role when they accompany their loved ones who are suffering from illness. They provide them with Guidance and support are essential To face sensitive situations that involve a lot of physical and emotional burden. Thus presents journalist Gemma Neerja Caregiver School Subordinate La Caixa Foundation. In the final installment of “In Depth”.

In this episode, the journalist interviews Noemi Morales, a psychologist at the Palliative Care Unit of the Hospital de la Santa Cruz y Sant Pau and a teacher at the School of Caregivers, who was born in 2018, within the framework of the Comprehensive care program for people with advanced diseases From the La Caixa Foundation. This has been created to highlight the importance of the caregiver's role Facilitate your professionalismwhich are two essential aspects to be able to care for all people who suffer from illness or who are in the last stage of life.

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Psychologist Noemi Morales explains that it is a proven fact that “improving the quality of emotional and comprehensive well-being of family members is of great importance.” Positive impact on the health of patients themselves.” That is why the Care School was created, whose mission is to support these family members. The objectives are, on the one hand, to Enhance own resources That they already have, give them tools And Increase your skills So that this ultimately has an impact on their well-being and the well-being of the person being cared for.

Through the care school, In-person or virtual workshopsLed by experts in psychology, nursing, physical therapy and social work. These workshops delve into aspects such as emotional management, physical health, self-care, grief, or nutrition to provide caregivers – family or volunteers – with the knowledge, techniques, and skills that allow them Providing high quality support to the people they care for.

“The premise is clear,” Morales says. “We know that it is important to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of ourselves. What happens is that Sometimes it is difficult and complicated. Sometimes, interest arises unexpectedly, and there are people who express feelings of guilt for taking the time, because they feel like they are abandoning the person they care about. Given these feelings, the workshops “represent a space, a weekly resource where they will be able to meet, and feel in their company. There are people who say that It's hard to be able to share all of this with people in your everyday environment“, confirms the psychologist.

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According to the qualitative evaluation of the Caregivers School workshops carried out by the “la Caixa” Foundation and the University of Vic, 57% of participants had been exposed to stressful situations in the past month. Although this study has a positive note, which is that after implementing the workshops, 86% of participants claim to feel more able to be present -Physically and emotionally- for the person they care about.

“We don't have to be able to do everything. Sometimes we live thinking that we have to do everything very well and here the care school is an aid that aims to take care of the person we care for, and this It also has a positive impact on the person being served.“, concludes Morales. Since its inception just over five years ago, the Caregiver School has done more than 1,800 workshops throughout Spainled by more than 80 specialists in multiple fields such as psychology, nursing, social work, medicine, and others.

Pioneer programme

he Comprehensive care program for people with advanced diseases From the “la Caixa” Foundation of which Caregiver School is a part, it was a pioneering program when it was launched in 2008 to complete health care Received by people who are at the end of their lives, and covers aspects that can be more neglected such as The emotional and social sphere of the patient Or caring for the grief of family members.

Since then they have served over 680,000 people: 301,572 patients and 385,743 family membersIntervention in health centers, homes and residences. The program is currently being implemented in 153 health centres, 173 homes and 165 residences across Spain (In 2024, the program completed its strengthening and expanded its scope of work to include all governorates), serving more than 34,000 patients and 39,000 family members. It also has 1,000 volunteers who dedicate their time to caring for others.

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