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Edwin Mora, psicólogo de profesión, colaboró durante más de diez años con el Centro Nacional de Control del Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos; esta experiencia lo inspiró a realizar un doctorado sobre la entrega de diagnósticos de enfermedad terminal.

Edwin Mora, doctor en psicología: “Al adulto mayor hay que permitirle cerrar ciclos” — La Voz de la Experiencia
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By Marilyn Moon, PhD

The role of caregiver is an extremely important and challenging undertaking—and one that most of us are not fully prepared to undertake. Although having a background in health can help at the margins, it is instructive and sobering to interact with the system in an up close and personal way.

When my husband suffered a stroke 18 months ago, we faced a broad array of challenges in dealing with both the formal health care system and the new roles we were playing as patient and caregiver. But now with a little bit of distance, I hope to share some insights and lessons learned that might help others in similar situations and/or suggest some new directions for policy thinking.


In the summer of 2014, my husband and I were beginning to get things in order to enjoy our retirement; he was no longer employed but still very active as a writer of books, and I had been planning to phase into retirement. But in September, everything was suddenly put on hold.

A stroke to the left occipital lobe left my husband with vision loss, memory problems, and an inability to read. As his sole caregiver, I found myself plunged into a confusing world of poorly co-ordinated care, confusing systems, and an expectation that the caregiver could take on full-time responsibilities. As an aging researcher of more than 30 years, I have focused extensively on Medicare and long-term care issues, so I should have been prepared. But studying issues from the perspective of how to improve overall policy is very different than trying to do the applications required. I probably was more prepared than most but still found many confusing and frustrating challenges along the way.

The U.S. health care system essentially assumes that unless a person is fully unable to function, someone else—usually a spouse or close relative—will be available to perform innumerable activities: co-ordination of care, making decisions about appropriateness of providers, performing
skilled therapy and related tasks, dealing with payments, and keeping the rest of life at bay. Most of these activities are outside the purview of any insurance protection, and without these informal supports, the costs of health care would be much greater (Chari, Engberg, Ray, and Mehrotra, 2015; Donelan et al., 2002; Levine, Halper, Peist, & Gould, 2010). And the demographic changes ahead suggest that this issue will only rise in importance (Congressional Budget Office, 2013).


Caregiving is a supremely lonely experience and one
which is taxing on even the most able and energetic person.

I also became aware of how lucky we were to have resources and my time to fill in the many gaps in care—but
even that has its limitations. One can find a lot of advice
about short-term illnesses or end of life care, but much less is written about the serious health condition that takes
a year or more of your life but for which the outcome is
potentially positive. The challenges are many and often surprising. How do you keep pushing for positive results and
improvements over an extended period of time?

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Teresita Aguilar, Presidente del Consejo Nacional de la Persona Adulta Mayor (CONAPAM) es una mujer muy preparada, egresada de la Universidad de Costa Rica como odontóloga, fue la primera en recibir el carnet del Colegio Cirujano de Dentistas, Master en Seguridad Social de la Universidad española de Alcalá de Henares y ahora enfrenta el reto, como ella misma lo dice de, visibilizar la población adulta mayor.

En Costa Rica se viene observando en los últimos años un fenómeno poco apetecido para muchos y es el abandono de adultos mayores, que se hace cada vez más grandes las cifras de personas que son olvidadas en los hospitales y en lugares públicos por su propia familia.

Uno de los mayores reto que tiene Aguilar es incentivar por medio de programas a decirles a esta población que no están solos y a la vez alza la voz y señala a los familiares que no realicen estos actos, por que sus hijos podrían copiar ese ejemplo en un futuro y hacerle lo mismo.

¿Qué programas tiene el Conapam para recibir adultos mayores que son abandonados por sus familiares?

Desarrollamos y también reforzamos programas, algunos ya estaban. A pesar que tenemos un escaso presupuesto y es algo que venimos luchando para que nos ayuden, todos están bien trabajados”

Hogares de Larga Estancia (llamados antes lugares de ancianos) son los lugares donde las personas llegan y ahí terminan su vida. También tenemos los Hogares Diurnos donde las personas pasan todo el día. La Red de Cuido, que es un programa de mucho exitoso propuesto por Laura Chinchilla en su etapa de presidente y hay que mencionar otro que se llama Abandonados, personas adultas mayores que se encuentran en la calle y algunos que son olvidados en los hospitales.

Fuente:

“Quisiera llegarle al corazón de alguno y decirle que no haga eso” — La Voz de la Experiencia