22 years ago, the residents of the Santa Ynez neighborhood met with the goal of doing physical and recreational activities, for which they found the perfect ally. Being able to deal with their illnesses through sports and “get out of the routine” is one of the biggest goals they have.
On September 12, it was 22 years since several adults and residents of the Santa Ynez neighborhood met with the goal of doing physical activities to take advantage of free time in search of rest, health and well-being.
As a result of this initiative, the “Caminemos por la vida” project was born, which was welcomed by Professor Climaco Valencia, Head of the Physical Education Program at the Surcolombiana University, who organized the project with all the laws, with a board of directors and working groups. The Faculty of Health Sciences also joined the project along with the Faculty of Nursing, which provided health and prevention advice to this group of 240 older people.
Now, as before, the walkers for life have the constant support and advice of the program with Professor José Miller Roa at the helm and Professor Yivy Salazar Parra of the Nursing Program.
Diario del Huila, accompanied one of the events of the celebration of the 22 years to learn about the experiences of those who are part of this family of elderly people.
the current president
Like any organized association, Caminemos por la vida has a governing board. The current president is Gustavo Polanco, who recounts his experiences, which are somewhat similar to all, “we exercise, health, sports, recreation, joy for all at our headquarters in the sports field of the Surcolombiana University for 22 years. In the physical education part we have aerobics, in health, control, weight coordination, according to the pathologies that some have,” he said.
“Every day from Monday to Friday we meet from 5:30 to 8:00 in the morning, play sports, share recreational activities such as parks, etc. We have our little pavilion that we call the ‘happy house’, we share red wine, we integrate, in short, we have a good time with our family, going through life,” he added.
240 are the grandparents who attend this type of activity daily. They have a godfather plan and a godfather plan so they’re aware of their colleagues, “each one of us doing both, in such a way that we’re careful about why one of the partners stopped attending,” he said.
“Every two or three years we change so that there is more integration and brotherhood between everyone, to get to know each other, to make more friends,” he said.
Finally he counted; “In order to enter, by law now, those who, due to force majeure, such as illness, which do not allow them to do physical activity, or in the worst case, die, are replaced, this quota is given to another person with priority over the family, from which departs”.
experiences and anecdotes
As the family members of older people, “walk through life” talk and share in the celebration of 22 years, Diario del Huila collected some experiences of the members of the project.
Luz Albiria Macias de Vidal, one of the founders, assured that “22 years ago, this is where the sports field is, which allows them to have space, they were several paddocks near the university, some people, neighbors of Santa Ynez, join us, we ask for help from Surcolombiana, whom I love and love, the project was born, which has been recognized since the foundation with Professor Clímaco Valencia, now with Professor Miller Roa, Professor Yivy Salazar, we love all of them, they are important in our lives they are part of our families,” he confirmed.
Even romances and marriages happened during the project’s time. “People came out in love, became husbands and still live as a couple, they are very happy, commented the current treasurer, who claims that being an adult is not dying in life, there is something to learn, he shared also live,” said Luz Albiria , adding that her husband Luis Edgar Vidal Lemus was one of the founders.
Jairo Sterling, one of the members who has been on the board of directors for 17 years, says his entry means a before and after in life. And he explains that before that he remained devoted to work, with the excitement of everyday life and the stress it generated, which did not give him space or time for himself:
“I now have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful wellness and health plan. At 68, I turned my life upside down. My first 50 years were work and work until I found out about this beautiful project and made a turn primarily in the quality of life. I love everything that the university’s sports facilities offer us. We have scenarios, health days and the opportunity to develop different activities,” he said, adding that it was the best decision he had ever made in his life.
As an anecdote, he added that he was the first to make the decision to start playing sports, while Ms. Emperatriz Chaux was about to meet with medical examinations to calm ailments, such as joint pain, to the point that she had to have hand surgery. He managed to convince her to go to the program, she joined and did not need surgery, she fulfilled her dream of learning to play the guitar and now she is part of the musical group “los alegrías Caminantes” on a project with excellent presentations”, he concluded he.
The contribution to health
Professor Ivy Salazar of the Nursing Program tells how since 2012 they joined at the request of the Surcolombiana Physical Education, Recreation and Sports program to which the project belongs. We got there and we work from the health sector through what is called health for life.
“We try to ensure well-being and health by assessing the health status and educating them about the risks they may have and giving them personalized attention to manage the treatments that are ordered to improve health, we do home visits because the family must be responsible for the older adult. We are very pleased to mark these 22 years of walking towards life and participating with our contribution not only in healthcare but also through guidance,” he added.
Finally, as an anecdote, he said that they came across a situation that is peculiar and which unfortunately is repeated a lot in the families of elderly people.
“We noticed a lot of people coming in and saying, ‘I have to go take the kid to daycare or make breakfast because my daughter is working.’ Grandparents are not here for that, they are there for us to take care of and help them. Also, since many of them are retired, the money they earn becomes the family budget, and it shouldn’t be. They are learning about their roles and rights, as are many family members, which has greatly improved their quality of life,” concluded Salazar.