12 July 2021 13:30

The personalisation of long-term care in cohabitation units, at a Council-organised event

Social Action

The Bizkaia Provincial Council pushes for a transformation in long-term care, moving towards personalisation to help address the diversity and evolution of the needs, expectations, and preferences of individuals that require support to carry out their life projects. Sergio Murillo: “We have inherited public policies that have been able to lengthen lifespans. This is one of the key achievements of Biscay society today. We have extended life to limits till now unknown. Now, the challenge is to expand this life”.

Image of the event at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao

On Monday, the Bizkaia Provincial Council’s Department of Social Action held an open event dedicated to the personalisation of long-term care services through cohabitation units. The event was attended by some 300 participants, and was geared specifically towards professionals working day in and day out to ensure better quality lives for those in a situation of dependency: public social services management entities of the Historical Territory of Bizkaia. During this event, the provincial institution addressed key aspects of the new advancement it hopes to drive in terms of personalising long-term care together with experts and individuals with extensive experience with this topic.

During the event’s opening statements, the Regional Minister of Social Action, Sergio Murillo, pointed out that while the reality that we face, with a continuous increase in life expectancy and healthcare system improvements, is a good indicator of the territory’s development, it also brings about the need to address the challenge of long-term care through a multi-dimensional and long-term focus: We have inherited public policies that have been able to lengthen lifespans. This is one of the key achievements of Biscay society today. We have extended life to limits till now unknown. Now, the challenge is to expand this life.

 Sergio Murillo shared the Bizkaia Provincial Council’s plans to address the "re-evolution of long-term care" in residential care facilities. We are determined to push long-term care towards personalisation to help address the diversity and evolution of the needs, expectations, and preferences of individuals that require support to carry out their life projects. Today we mark a new milestone in this important advancement.

In this sense, Bizkaia's Provincial Deputy for Social Action pointed out that the cohabitation units the provincial institution will promote in both public and private elderly residential care facilities are constituted as a personalised residential care facility strategy: When prolonged over time, the essence of care must be transformed, moving from exclusively addressing basic or instrument-based needs to assisting individuals to maximise their ability to live out their personal life project as they choose. As such, Small-scale cohabitation units should favour personalised care, opening up to the community to allow facilities to become a home, or as home-like as possible, for those living there, he stressed.

Murillo pointed out that this will be a gradual and progressive, voluntary process to be assisted with and shared, because this evolution of the care focus means a major cultural shift, demanding the adaptation of processes and dynamics that have been consolidated up till now. It is a challenge that we will address through the current situation, starting with the advancements that are being made so far along these lines, he concluded.

The event was held in the Euskalduna Bilbao, enjoying the participation of illustrious figures such as Javier Yanguas, the Scientific Director of Obra Social La Caixa’s Elderly Programme; Marije Goikoetxea, University of Deusto researcher and collaborator on the development of healthcare and social service assistance ethics; and Lourdes Zurbanobeaskoetxea, Socio-Healthcare Coordinator and Head of the Provincial Council's Assessment and Orientation Service. Also presented were practical examples and experiences in cohabitation units that are being carried out in residential facilities for persons with disability and the elderly, such as those at Residencia Atxarte de Gorabide in Abadiño, and Residencia Los Royales in Soria.


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