Sensitize and give visibility

The Lukas Foundation exists to fill a gap in our society. To achieve this, it is essential to raise awareness and increase the visibility of people with severe multiple disabilities of great dependence, who are in our society. These people are not visible on our streets because they are totally dependent, in most cases, they do not walk, do not talk, can not eat alone, have no toilet training ... and yet they are full human beings and are very capable of feeling and enjoying.

Scientific advances, improvements in health, social care and specialized education mean that the ratio of age in the life expectancy of these people is increasing, and they are spending more time with us. Behind each young person with these characteristics, there is a family history and therefore all the members of the family are affected. The parents of these young people get older, they also need attention and above all they need to see an assisted future for their children.

In addition, in most cases they are broken families that need support and help from all of society. In order to sensitize public and the politicians, we must publicize the multiple obstacles faced by people with disabilities and their families, and we must also promote exchange of information, coexistence and solidarity.

To achieve this goal we use as a reference the Dutch model, where these people live on their own, outside family homes, attended by qualified staff and fully integrated into the small communities of each neighborhood, with their leisure, their Day Center and their socio-health needs covered. They are families that have come together to give a joint solution, and create an integrated and dignified life for their children with DMS and for themselves.

Severe Multiple Disability (hereinafter DMS) is considered to be the condition of children, youth and adults who present different types of disability: physical, intellectual and / or sensory, simultaneously, with a high degree of or total dependence of their basic activities on a daily basis. The DMS implies a series of "challenges" and needs in the daily life of the person who has it and that of his/her family and / or caregivers:

Physical and emotional dependence: food, health, hygiene, emotional and social relationships, etc.
Difficulty in communication due to limited or non-existent language.
Difficulty in movement / displacement due to not being able to walk.
Need for adaptations and technical aids in the home and in the vehicle.
Special needs in food, hygiene, health, etc.
Medical complications: risk of epilepsy, malnutrition, degenerative diseases and medical complications that reduce their quality of life.
Daily physical and emotional effort.
Family fracture due to the difficult handling of the situation and due to not receiving psychological attention.
Feelings of loneliness, fear, uncertainty, exhaustion, etc.
Complete dedication.
Social rejection.
Economic impact.
Short life expectancy.

Faced with this daily struggle, the most important thing for a person with DMS is to achieve a good quality of life and a decent existence. For this, we have to go beyond the mere satisfaction of their basic needs.
With our projects we intend to increase awareness and sensitize the population towards severe multiple disabilities, seeking participation, awareness and citizen mobilization. These programs, which consist of recreational activities, talks and workshops carried out by Lukas Foundation technicians and volunteers, are a tool to promote social change and create a more just and supportive society.

For more information about carrying out these activities contact:
yolanda.santos@fundacionlukas.org