Home News Feels like home in Agordo. The Calabrian psychologist: “How beautiful is the square when there is a market”

Feels like home in Agordo. The Calabrian psychologist: “How beautiful is the square when there is a market”

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Sara Luppino had moved to Belluno to join her boyfriend. The extra step for the job: “They said I would be bad, what a mistake”

The character. An elderly lady guest of the RSA of Agordo is taking a bath helped by the psychologist, a woman from Reggio Calabria who arrived in Agordo very recently. The lady expresses the desire to wear the “còtola rósa” at the end of the bath. Behind the lenses of the Calabrian psychologist the eyes become sharp: what will he want ?. «I tried to make some connections – says Sara Luppino – first I thought he was taking a bath and therefore perhaps he was referring to a garment to be worn later; then, knowing that the lady is one who cares about clothing, I said to myself: it’s either the shirt or the skirt. I opted for the second one and I hit the mark ».

It is a sweet and fun episode at the same time that makes the situation well experienced by the many workers of the RSA of Agordo coming from the South or from foreign countries. «The first day I arrived – says Sara – I felt like I was overseas: I have a good propensity for languages, but I had to work hard to quickly build a vocabulary, grasping the meaning of two or three terms at a time from the speeches. The elderly were my teachers and today I joke with them and with other local colleagues trying to speak in the Agordino dialect with my accent. My favorite word is “valc”, which means something ».

“Valc” happened in the life of this 35-year-old psychologist from Reggio Calabria if today she says that “only home wins on Agordo”, that “if I get a little nostalgia, I just need to take a tour of the departments where the majority is from the South », that« if I had to leave Agordo I would do it only to go back down ». In fact, in March 2018 it was already ready to do so. In society (where the idea that one must necessarily arrive prevails) the metaphor of the lost train, of the train on which one had to get on, is usual. Yet there are trains that go and people who remain happy on the ground. That morning in March Sara Luppino was returning to Belluno from Agordo after having completed the test of the competition for psychologist in Asca, the company that manages the local RSA structures. «I had decided to try – he says – because I, the girl who had always said“ but if all those who want to change things go away … ”, I wanted to change my personal situation, I wanted something that would enhance me. My partner at the time was in Belluno and therefore I had joined him. On March 20 I took part in the competition, but I was convinced that I had not passed it and I was looking on my phone to buy a train ticket to go back to Calabria ». Then the phone rang and Sara, on the following April 3, started working in Asca and some time later she came to live in Agordo da Belluno where more than one had tried to dissuade her from taking the road to the north.

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«They spoke ill of Agordo to me – he explains – they assured me that I would pass the competition because no one wanted to go to Agordo and they predicted that I from the south would feel badly among the mountaineers. Instead, I must say that while in Belluno I had olfactory hallucinations caused by homesickness and that in terms of emotions I didn’t feel that much, in Agordo I immediately had the feeling of being well, I breathed the idea of ​​home ». An idea that is also given by the barista who remembers how you take your coffee, but above all “from the sense of familiarity in the faces of others”. And the others, for her, in these few Agordian years are above all the elderly and their loved ones who were willing to go out of their way to find her accommodation if she needed it.

After having studied occupational psychology at the Sapienza University of Rome, Sara had turned to clinical psychology at the University of Messina, considering the address more “warm” and more individual-centered. In addition to working in Asca, he is now freelance and is following a four-year path to achieve specialization as a psychotherapist. To write the thesis, wait for the “right energies” as soon as the moment that upset the work in the RSA has passed.

«Before the epidemic – he says – my job consisted in taking care of the welcome of the elderly on his arrival in the structure. It also meant taking charge of the whole family group at times experienced by a strong sense of guilt and helplessness, given by the requests of the elderly (“everything but don’t take me to the nursing home”) and by the fear of disrespecting people to which you love. In the structure I then dedicated myself to evaluations and cognitive stimulations of the elderly and I managed the staff, trying in particular to take care of communications which, as we know, can be a source of misunderstandings even within a work group that is here because it loves that. he does and not for the salary. Finally, I followed the selection of personnel by providing a different point of view from the technical one, aimed at evaluating the interpersonal skills of the aspiring worker towards the elderly ».

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The Covid, however, has upset everything, has distorted the relationships between the elderly and their families first forced not to see each other for months, then or through a glass, a plexiglass or a screen, today finally even with a contact. “When we realized – says Sara – that the systems put into practice to socialize the elderly and to guarantee access to family members at all times would have been replaced by a sort of kidnapping, although for a good purpose, it was terrible. However, if we have to find a positive aspect in all this, I would say that Covid was formative: it made us understand that, for example, we had never worried about the communication of the elderly with family members abroad. Today, thanks to tablets, people from far away see each other more often than before ».

In the past Sara had also been attracted to becoming a lawyer, but “there was no knowledge of the other”; she then put adolescents as the first choice among the recipients of her work, but then she focused on the elderly. “With children the goal is the acquisition of continuous skills – he explains – working with the elderly frightened me because I thought it could be static, characterized byaroused by routine. And instead: in the meantime, the elderly are not all the same and then, even if the goal is to maintain skills, I have learned that every goal achieved is progress. Furthermore, this working dimension has helped me a lot to learn how to manage my relationship with the end of life. I understood the importance of being close even in the final moment, to exorcise the sense of helplessness that death gives you. The elderly, in fact, perceive the caress, the prayer recited together. It is very important to be able to guarantee the quality of life until the last moment ».

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Sara’s life in Agordo has only just begun. He saw that shopping can also be done locally and that the municipal offices are efficient. The moments outside the structure, thanks to Covid and the concern not to get infected, however, were not many. One, however, in its own small way, was significant. «On 2 June – he says – I discovered that Agordo is beautiful when there is a market. Now I’d like to find out a little more ».

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