In this second week, we got to do a lot more for our project. I guess one of the reasons is because we are finally finally understanding what the problem we are going to solve is. The group meetings were very productive. We had meetings almost every day of the week. We discussed the project, our strategies, our experiences and many other subjects.
This week started with a little gathering to decide what we were going to ask the counterpart and just get to know a bit more about each other. Then, we had our meeting with the counterpart. It was a bit challenging for me in the beginning because I’m just getting used to Spanish now, but I could understand most of it. It was really shocking to know that the elders in Chile have one of the highest rates of suicide. This information made me feel even more determined to improve their lives. It’s really sad to know that people get so isolated that they lose their will to live. I really hope that this project can help prevent that.
The group also made lots of progress in the project. We had the protocols for our interviews done, the presentation done and most of the research done too. The only issue was with the interviews we wanted to make at Fundacion Las Rosas, but it was sadly not possible yet. I hope that we can go there and see how the lives of the elders there is. We could not, however, be sitting waiting without doing nothing so we went to the streets to interview people that we found. Since I’m not good at Spanish, I went with Loreto to do some interviews at Parque Bustamante. It was a great experience, the elders were very eager to help and to talk with us. I was surprised by their energy and good will. However, it was sad to see so little elders at the park. They were considerably outnumbered by younger people. Another interesting fact I noticed was that they were mostly alone, except for one couple that were together, possibly watching their grandkid. So, there are not only very few elders at the park, but also they go there mostly by themselves.
Also, as part of the project, I did some research in the topic of elderly people and isolation. It’s very sad to see the causes of isolation and loneliness include fear of becoming a burden and difficulty in communication. Maybe, in order to not become a burden, elders end up isolating themselves which leads to depression and other disorders. That’s a very unfortunate situation and it is heartbreaking to know that these people do not want to interfere with their relatives’ lives and are willing to sacrifice their own well being for that.
I think that the topic of our group is very touching and very emotional. And for that reason I really hope that we will find a solution that can truly benefit elders’ lives.