Ageing is not a synonym of illness

 November 27, 2013
By Javier Garcia

Unconsciously, we often mistake the elderly for being sick or disabled individuals, unable to carry out many day-to-day activities, whether physical or mental. Whilst research does show that the chances of falling ill or developing some form of disability increase with age, getting older need not be synonymous with illness.

Last week, at the “Be the change” event, held at the University of Deusto, we had the opportunity to meet Catalina Hoffmann, founder of the Vitalia Daycare Centres, an inspiration to aspiring professionals aiming to help improve the quality of life of the elderly and those around them.   It is difficult to sum up Catalina’s professional trajectory in a few lines, but we could describe her as an entrepreneur who has taken elderly care to a higher level, meeting their individual needs at every moment. Her work has always been marked by her intention to help improve the lives of “her elders”, bringing a smile to their faces with her closeness, hard work, ability to innovate and empathy.

Following the event, our colleague, Altair González, was able to exchange views with Catalina, the creator of the well-known Hoffmann Method and staunch advocate of aging not implying illness. The Hoffmann Method, registered as a Scientific Work, operates as follows: by conducting a thorough analysis of the specific situation and requirements of each individual, the therapy develops a programme of activities which enable physical, cognitive, psychological and social improvement in patients, both as a preventative measure and rehabilitation.

The career of this entrepreneur serves as an example to us in the development of Kwido, the elderly care platform, which aims to help the elderly remain independent for as long as possible. The development of active aging through innovative ideas such as these, enables elderly people to stay in their own homes for longer, covering their social requirements, preventing common illnesses and, ultimately, improving their quality of life. It is not just a matter if social justice, but in the words of Catalina Hoffmann herself: “because it will be us in their position, it’s just a matter of years”.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Catalina for the example she sets and the dedication she shows in living her dream, which has, in turn, made many other people’s dreams come true. We are convinced that together we can continue making progress in elderly care, proving day by day that getting older does not mean getting ill.