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Internship Weeks 3+4
omar
nalty7
I had technical problems these days (i lent my laptop to my dear classmate and future colleague-researcher -i just love her so much- multiple times because she needed a program for her thesis) so I'll write everything I can remember from these weeks.

Week 3
I went to a ΚΗΦΗ Κέντρο Ημερήσιας Φροντίδας Ηλικιωμένων (translation in english it's probably Centre of Daily Care for Elders). So this week I was with dear elders.It was different this time though because the centre works something like part-time school. In nursery elders are confined, they live with the same people, they have a repetitive schedule, they hardly go out. In the centre the elders spend three-four hours every morning/afternoon and then they get to go home. There was also a big difference in cognitive functions and health. In the nursery most elders couldn't walk without help and their Mini Mental results were close to cognitive impairment/dementia. In the centre there was only an elder who used a stick and when we tested some their results were great for their age.
The first day we only talked to the elders to see how they are and if they like the place. Most of them were pleased and happy to interact with others but there were some who didn't like the things they were doing there and considered it as child's play a.k.a degrading, which is something usual to meet when you're dealing with elders in great cognitive conditions. They said they were there to spend their time because they wouldn't do anything at home. By talking to them the first day we understood that many ladies were in extended grief, some have been through depression and some were complaining about memory problems. One of the caregivers came and talked to me (I don't understand why they all come to me everytime I swear) about things we could do the next day and I had an idea of giving information to the elders about ageing and the problems that come with it, grief and depression. I got the first part, I gave the second to the girl classmate and the third to the boy classmate. They couldn't even do that right. They kept asking me "how are we going to do that? what we will talk about? what to say? how to explain these things?" I told them that based on everything we've learned they just had to take the most important stuff and explain them to the elders like they would do it to their own grandparents. It's not that hard. Anyway, we gathered them all and I started by talking about memory and how ageing affects some abilities we have, what it's left and what we can do to strengthen it, emotions and some roles they can create so they feel that they are still useful to society. Next was the girl and she started by reading a story about accepting death in our lives and then continued to read the whole stages theory of Kubler-Ross. Eventually she took all the time we had and the boy didn't talk about depression, he was very relieved about that. For the rest of the time we didn't do anything, just sitting there and talking. There was a Georgian janitor and I got to practice my russian a little lol.

Week 4
I went to Amimoni (it's a character from greek mythology), which is an NGO about blind kids with disabilities. To be a part of this one needs to be blind or partly blind AND have any kind of disability like Down's syndrome, autism, brain paralysis, learning disabilities etc. I haven't been in a more organized place EVER. There is an interdisciplinary team consisted of a neuropsychologist, pedopsychiatrist, gymnasts, physiotherapists, speech therapists and any kind of scientist or worker who can help kids in this state. It works like a school so kids are in a class doing stuff together but at the same time they have a personal program based on their needs. It was the first time I saw a psychologist being the centre of this big team and coordinating everyone's goals for the kid. We weren't allowed to do anything with the kids which is logical but everyone was answering every question we had about their job. Their youngest kid who was 6 years old was attracted to me for some odd reason and everytime he'd see me (he was partly blind) he would come, hug me and stare at me for a long time. I can't really explained the programs I saw because it's very complicated and I'd have to start writing the theories they based one. It was a great experience tho. The only bad thing is that the place was in the other side of the city. In the mornings the traffic is ok so I'd be there in half an hour but returning home in the afternoon took me over an hour everytime.
This week I also went to my first investigation. It was a guest house for homeless people. There was no license, it was closed and then it re-opened and when we got there there was only a homeless man staying there. It was supposed to have a bunch of things it didn't and the social worker seemed a little slacking. Like there were 7 beds and there was only one person. There are many homeless people, how can he not find them and bring them to the guesthouse? There was only one worker there and he was the guard. There wasn't any service that would help the homeless bounce back or find a job. They will probably get a fine but my supervisor can't close it down because in this kind of economy places like that are important to exist even if they don't abide by the law.

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That second one sounds really interesting. Could they also qualify if they had a physical disability instead of a mental one?

The term retardation/mentally retarded was "normal" a long time ago but nowadays it is generally considered offensive and not really used. I wouldn't find if offensive if, say, my grandparents used it, since they are old and don't know how things have changed. However, an academic using it would definitely be offensive, and people from younger generations would be either offensive or possibly just very undereducated. Instead, people use the term for the specific problem, such as Down's Syndrome, or a general description of the problem as a "learning disability" or an "intellectual disability" or something depending on what the situation is.

It's a newly founded NGO and it works perfectly. It made me want to work there. I think no because one with only a physical disability wouldn't be able to communicate with the other children. Most of them had serious mental disabilities and it even took the specialist team about a month or two to learn to decipher the kids' moves. There is another NGO which is called School of Blinds where everyone but mentally disabled go.

Thank you! I used an online dictionary and while I put the greek word which is politically correct I got this result and it felt a bit offensive. I'm not familiar with the research and the articles in this case, otherwise I'd know which word is correct. I changed it in the text.

I see. By the way, do the kids live there, or do they just go there during the day like school?

Well I just said what is in general use since I'm not familiar with the terms used in research either, and I didn't even know what exactly you meant since it doesn't refer to one thing in particular (I feel like it was most closely associated with Down's Syndrome in the past though). But now I'm curious, did the Greek word you were thinking of actually mean Down's, or did you just change the text to that because it was a good example?

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