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A graduate of Master's Degree in Marriage and Family, award Tomás Belzunegui for her TFM on healthy aging.

Interview with Rosario Casillas, pedagogue and MMF'22

01 | 12 | 2023

Rosario Casillas, graduate of the Master's Degree in Marriage and Family of the University of Navarra has been recognized with the award Tomás Belzunegui for her work Fin de Master's Degree 'Curso de sensibilización al staff de Quintazur con una visión renovada'. This award, awarded by the Navarra Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, recognizes since 2000 the works and projects that promote a positive image of the elderly, without stereotypes or prejudices, in an intergenerational society.

In work, directed by University of Navarra professors Carmen Urpí and Dolores López, Rosario studies the origin and history of nursing homes in Europe, the United States and Mexico, analyzing the main problems and opportunities in each of them, and describing three innovative models of attention and care used by some of the leading nursing homes in the United States and Europe. It also proposes an awareness-raising proposal for residency program Quintazur, (Mexico).

Originally from Mexico, Rosario studied Pedagogy in Mexico City, where she realized the impact and importance that the family has on the development of the individual person as well as the person in society. With this concern, added to a motivation of character staff, she studied the Master's Degree in Marriage and Family. 

On the occasion of this award we interviewed him: 

What does aging/old age mean to you and why do your TFM on this topic?

Since I was a child I have lived a lot with older adults in nursing homes, social service, etc. and I was instilled with respect and empathy towards them. My grandparents were the pillar of the family, the root of our history, the reason for family reunions, the main example of love, religious and human values such as faith, love for God, constancy, service, submission, effort, work, etc.

For me, aging is the peak stage of man, because as they go through the years of life they enter a stage of maturity and knowledge deep maturity that younger generations should value, learn and empathize. During the Master's Degree, we had several classes where we touched the topic of aging and the current status and there I realized that Mexico is behind in new ways of caring for the elderly and that in the world there is a great revolution for the elderly to be seen and treated in a positive way, so I wanted to do a practical course in Mexico City where the elderly are respected and treated with dignity.

In your work you talk about the need for a change of perspective regarding old age, what is sample this change?

This change of perspective is mainly to see the elderly with dignity, respect and love. Old age is a stage where people have more time to reflect, to take care of personal relationships, to do recreational activities, etc. Society can take advantage of all the benefits that older adults have because they continue to be active people with much to contribute. "Recovering and giving real value to their experiences, knowledge and skills is increasingly important, because it means empowering and enriching the elderly and their environment" (Falus, Campillo and Schamber, 2017 p. 123).

You are planning an awareness-raising proposal for residency program Quintazur. Could you comment briefly on what it consists of and why you have chosen this specific residency program ?

The proposal to sensitize staff of Quintazur is based on 3 innovative models of care and attention to the elderly with which some leading residences in the United States and Europe work. The three models are: the "Six Dimensions of Wellness"; which promotes healthy and active aging in the six dimensions of the person, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. The second model is "person-centered care" which recognizes the uniqueness of each person, respecting their values, tastes and needs and promoting autonomy for their own care. Finally, the "care of the report", which promotes a better quality of life in a safe environment, through early diagnosis and specific therapies that care for cognitive impairment. I made a mix of these models looking for a comprehensive awareness, adapting to the context and needs of Mexicans.  

The residency program Quintazur is the project of my brother Toño, who has passed on to me his passion for serving the elderly. I wanted to participate and leave my mark on the culture of this residency program, and I wanted it to be full of life, love, respect and empathy for the elderly. 


You have received the award Tomás Belzunegui. What does it mean for you to receive this award?

 Receiving the award Tomás Belzunegui has been a great surprise, I feel very honored and excited, it is something I never imagined. Winning this award makes me reflect that my work and initiative do have value and it is something that society, the family and the elderly need. This award commits me even more to put my work in internship to renew the concept of old age and to teach a positive vision towards the elderly, and with dignity.

What do you take away from your time at Master's Degree? Do you keep anything in particular?

It is very difficult to describe just one thing. Master's Degree taught me a way of being, a new way of looking at the person, the family, and marriage. I learned the importance of the family, not only in its members, but to recognize its scope: how it impacts politics, Economics, sociology, psychology, Philosophy, law, etc. And in this way, to be able to defend it, take care of it and promote it.