Psychological, Cultural and Social Support Activities for the Residents of the Santa Margherita Institute for the Elderly in Rome

Project location: Italy, Rome
Project start date: October 2013 - Project end date: October 2014
Project number: 2013-028
Beneficiary: Associazione Famiglia Domani

Timeline of this final report: November 2013 to October 2014

The Famiglia Domani Association is convinced that the problem of the elderly is one of the critical issues of our society. The Association provides assistance and support to the residents of the Santa Margherita Institute for the Elderly, as well as to those responsible for the Institute by: organizing social events either with personal contact (such as movie forums, conferences and leisure time activities), or by using new technologies, such as the Internet – that is a means of information, learning and social interaction. All of these activities greatly improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the elderly.
The Famiglia Domani Association project, already run for a year, is to promote an activity of psychological, cultural and social support for the guests of the Santa Margherita Institute for the Elderly, especially using the modern methods of communication (Internet, cinema, music ....).
The "Santa Margherita" Aid and Charity Public Institution (IPAB) is a shelter and service for the elderly facing the problem of how to entertain the residents in order to prevent their rapid psycho-physical deterioration.
The Famiglia Domani Association decided to address this need by renting a portion of the IPABs ample space so as to promote systematic and structured recreational and cultural activities (cinema and internet in particular) for the elderly.

More in detail, the Famiglia Domani Association has:

organized in a regular way a monthly Cineforum with the setup of a room dedicated to the screenings of movies and music videos: before the film, a snack is always offered to the elderly and after they have the possibility to stay for a comment on the film if they want to.

1)     has made its library available for the readings of the elderly: every day, from 9,30 to 13,30, they can always go to the library, rent books or read them in the library and they can always have somebody to talk with and from whom be advised;

2)     has organized small live concerts with young musicians who do not only play but also sing;

3)     planned leisure time activities such as bingo and other games with their own prizes. For these games usually young families are involved in order to give the Elderly the joyful presence of children;

4)     has organized conferences where the residents have the possibility to meet new people and to be updated with arguments of current issues. After the conferences a small buffet has always been offered in order to allow people to stop and exchange a few words with the speaker and with other people.

5)     has created a computer room to provide the Institute’s residents with a training course on basic computing and where they can exercise themselves.

During these twelve months of activity, a consistent number of guests, either of the Santa Margherita Institute, or elderly coming from the surrounding areas, have participated in a regular way in the activities promoted by the Famiglia Domani Association, in particular the movie forums and the conferences.

It can be noticed how the elderly look out for the events because they are a moment of leisure and social gathering that cheers their stay. Having people with whom to speak or see a film, to exchange ideas, to learn something new, it is of primary importance because the elderly, in such Institutes, are usually very much alone. An important demonstration is that on the Sundays, when usually is projected a film, they ask their relatives not to come to pay them a visit but to postpone it to a better day: this means that they very much enjoy what is done for them. In concrete, the activities within the Santa Margherita Institute has contributed to a much improved psycho-physical attitude of the elderly.
think global, act local
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