VACANT:247 - Social Work
Organization: Elderly home Region: Turrialba, Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, people usually try to take care of the elderly that can no longer live by themselves, among close family members. Only when it is not possible due to illnesses, a very high level of care that is required or when people simply don't want because of negative feelings they have towards the older people, they turn to an elderly home  for care. Fortunately places like "San BuenAventura" do exist. It is spacious, clean, well organized and equipped although it is highly dependent on government's support and individuals donations to keep it functioning well. 

This elderly home is beautfully situated in hills of Turrialba, with a really nice average temperature of about 26 degrees celsius. Tt is within walking distance of your accomodation and the ambiance in the home is warm and welcoming.

This Institution on average has 72 persons living here full time from which 50 are men and 22 women. Also of these 72 persons, 35 are mobile only with their wheelchair. There is one physiotherapist that is responsible for half-yearly evaluations of all members and elaborating a yearly workplan. Objectives are established and monitored on the physical and cognitive level. For each member a file is available and althought most information is officially totally confidential, medical information can be shared and if necessary exceptions can also be made. The physiotherapist works with local (secondary school students) and foreign volunteers on a regular basis. 


A social workers from the government only visits the institution when necessary and on an hourly contracted basis which is about once a few months. 


As an intern for social work here, you can help as many days a week as you wish, to assist and later take over tasks from the woman who hastoo much work leading both the physical-  and the occupational therapy. Their aim is to let elderly people be as independent as possible as long as possible. The "patients" suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and different forms of dementia.


In the start of your internship you will help out at the activity center doing games and activities to keep the elderly occupied in order to give them a better qualituy of life. You can do boardgames, arts, music and have conversations with people that like and need it. Once you know your way around in this institution you will get the possibilty to organize the activities, guide volunteers, set up new activities and projects. Also you are motivated to evaluate to present social care that is given and make recommendations, taking the limitations of the elderly home into account.  




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