Asociación Siloé provides a home for the most vulnerable among us, those terminally ill without a family or any other support networks or financial resources. At Siloé they can live their last days in dignity and die in peace. In the early days of Siloé, in the ´90s when AIDS was at its most ravaging, deaths were indeed frequent. Since then, due to the development of effective antiretroviral therapies, an HIV infection has become a chronic illness rather than an automatic death sentence. Despite the degenerative nature of the condition and possible physical and mental disabilities caused by it, thanks to supervised medication, well structured, inclusive care and a family-like environment, the residents have a chance to improve their quality of life and enjoy the love and support of the Siloé community.
The residents participate in workshops and exercises that strengthen their social and communication skills, help them enjoy themselves and integrate in the community around them. They do physical and breathing exercises, yoga, stretching and relaxation – all with the aim to become aware of their own physical and emotional health, to pay attention to others, to respect each other and to learn how to solve conflicts among themselves. They play games together, they participate in exercises, workshops and daily household tasks, they learn to communicate and to let go – of their shyness, of their internal conflicts, of their fears and regrets.
Death is not a taboo here. Anybody with HIV, or more so with full-blown AIDS, knows that the day of departure will come. At Asociación Siloé this fact is not swept under the carpet - it is present in everyday activities. Those residents in the final phase of the illness can choose a tree that they want to have planted in their honour. After the funeral, the rest of the residents participate in the farewell ceremony and planting of the tree which will get the name of the deceased, who thus continues to live among the residents. Looking after, watering and pruning Rafael, Catalina, Paco, Jaime and Cris… remembering them and talking about them, the residents will have a chance to come to terms with death and to see it as something natural - a continuation of life.
This web page was started with Mobirise