Laguna Hospice Care Center: Treating Patients, Caring for People (Madrid)
The initiatives described in this section are educational, social, and cultural activities brought forward by faithful of the Prelature and cooperators together with many other people, both Catholics and non-Catholics. Those who undertake and direct these activities (taking on full responsibility for them, including their financial aspects) are trying to respond to specific local needs without any discrimination regarding race, religion, or social condition.
The Prelature of Opus Dei, through agreements with the organizers, or through the guidelines established by the statutes of each entity, contributes to the development of these social initiatives by providing Christian doctrinal and moral orientation, and priestly service, always with full respect for the freedom of people’s consciences.
Laguna Hospice Care Center:
Treating Patients, Caring for People
The Laguna Hospice Care Center is a social initiative that began in 2002, for the centennial of the birth of St. Josemaría Escrivá. Located in Madrid, it provides care for people suffering from advanced sicknesses, old age and dementia, regardless of their financial or social situation. Laguna seeks to put into practice the teachings and example of St. Josemaría, who used to say: “For the sick we won’t spare any effort. If someone needs a piece of heaven, we will go there to rob it, certain that this will please our Father God.”
Laguna is now the largest hospital specializing in palliative care in Spain, and the second largest in Europe, in terms of the number of beds. It provides care for more than 500 people each year. The hospital center accompanies patients and their families during the whole process of their sickness, and offers both the appropriate medical care and the social and spiritual assistance required.
Its activity includes palliative care, neurology, geriatrics, and physiotherapy—both in the patient’s home, and in the hospital and residence. Laguna also carries out ongoing research in this area of health care. It helps train caretakers for elderly people in their homes, and organizes dedicated volunteers who provide irreplaceable help by staying in close contact with the patients.
The hospital is under the auspices of the non-profit foundation Vianorte-Laguna, which supports this project with the financial contributions of many individuals and both public and private institutions.
Laguna aims to foster a culture of care and respect for each person in all of his or her human dignity. The elderly and the sick are cared for and loved right to the final moment of their lives. By providing information about its activities and making people sensitive to the needs of the elderly, it seeks to create in society as a whole a culture of solidarity.
Romana, No. 60, January-June 2015, p. 122-123.