Of all the indicators that allow us to glimpse the first flashes of light at the end of the tunnel, the return of the elderly to normal life is undoubtedly one of the most significant. They have been the ones who have passed the worst part of this pandemic, with fear, with uncertainty, alone and bored. But starting this Wednesday that will change, since they will finally be able to begin to recover a very important part of their lives: access to live culture. Morning, the EDP Gran Vía Theater will hold a special function for the elderly in residences in Madrid who have already been immunized. The new protocol applicable to nursing homes in the Community allows the free entry and exit of vaccinated residents, so that more than one hundred elderly people will enjoy a monologue by Santi Rodríguez on their first exit from the centers.
Apolonio Ruiz, a resident of the Orpea Madrid Loreto residence who is going to turn 77 in May, claims to be “very excited” by this first cultural outing, because “he has been very unhappy not being able to go to the theater or the cinema” throughout one year. “It’s going to be almost like going to the theater for the first time. It is very exciting to regain freedom. Apollonius is a great reader, so he has been able to escape the bad times – “I have lost two friends in these months,” he laments – thanks to literature. But he very much misses sitting in an armchair to see a great show “like the old normality, the one that nobody knows if it will one day return,” he says with as much resignation as he has a sense of humor.
Inside the residence too they had a lot of cultural activity with visits from different artists on birthdays and other special dates, but during the pandemic they only had “the social gatherings, which are very good but know little,” says Apolonio. The lack of cultural activity has also affected the health and mood of the residents. «These outings are going to be very good for us. I have the feeling that we are going to experience it as something new in our lives, and when the curtain opens we will even be nervous. Now I have to take the agenda and see what exhibitions and what films I am going to see after this first outing ».
One of their caregivers, Inma Martín, is clear that the return of the elderly to cultural life will have “very positive” effects on their health. “When the state of alarm began, the first thing they missed was their families. But then they began to realize that they wanted to go to the theater or the movies, and they couldn’t. So many limitations together caused many to fall into a state of very strong apathy, That made them even lose their appetite. It has been three weeks since the residents of Orpea Loreto received the second dose of the vaccine, and both they and their families have been asking for a few days when they would start being able to go out on excursions and visit cultural centers. “They have a lot of desire, and we already see them very encouraged,” he adds. Martín wants to remember that life must be resumed outside the center “little by little because caution must be maintained with this dangerous virus.”
Tomorrow’s show will also have charitable purposes. The Meter of the Gran Vía Theater is the first capable of converting the power of the public in kilowatt hours through the emotions generated by the people in the room (applause, cheers…), and all of it will go to the NGO Adopta Un Abuelo.