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Database: ES02

Created On Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:29 By José Jesús Delgado

ID Code (e. g. HU1):
La Memoria de Galicia (MEMOGA)
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: The Memory of Galicia
LANGUAGE Spanish and Galician
Sergio Fernández Aldrey

Caixagalicia obra social
TYPE (SME, Company, Community Centre, Health Centre, Educational Centre, Foundation,
Municipality, governmental institution, etc):
Centro de Mayores Novacaixagalicia de A Coruña. Rúa Alta, 7. 15003 A CORUÑA
TELEPHONE: 981 227 677
E-MAIL: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  In this case, please indicate the territorial
scope of the organization:

Age range:
From: N/A to N/A years N/A
Older than: 60 years  
Gender: Unisex
People who were born or have lived in Galicia, willing to share their experiences

4 - CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MIND FITNESS PROGRAM / SERVICE / ACTIVITY (NB: Should the program, service or activity be included into more than one category, please select the most representative category for that PSA. But, REMEMBER: THE PSA MUST BE SELECTED ONLY IN CASE THAT MENTAL FITNESS / MENTAL WELLBEING IS INCLUDED IN ITS GENERAL AIMS OR GOALS. IF NOT, YOU SHOULD NOT SELECT IT. The characteristics below are the means, not the goal)
Strengthening positive relationships, Providing cognitive/memory training
Other: Reminiscence method (recalling memories from the past)
(EXPECTED) DURATION OF THE Programme/Service/Activity: N/A
Begin (Month/Year, e. g. 02/2012):2007-11-01
End (Month/Year, e. g. 02/2012):2008-05-31 or Number of weeks:N/A
Number of units:33
Hours per unit:N/A

1. To know their mind’s functioning and limitations and to strengthen their metamemory.
- 1a. To develop simple explanations every time whenever some queries come up.
- 1b. To practice strategies that palliates the deficits.

2. To carry out global interventions intended to stimulate and maintain their mental abilities, and also, to improve their cognitive performance and personal autonomy.
- 2a. To address the different cognitive abilities through specific exercises.
-.2b. To detect probable early dementia and to act accordingly.
- 2c. To explain the utility in their daily life of what they are learning to give confidence and autonomy.

3. To stimulate self-esteem and personal and social identity.
- 3a. To provide space for the presentation of their own memories and experiences.
- 3b. To reinforce their successes and minimize their failures.
- 3c. To reinforce their work and contribution to Galician society and culture.
- 3d. To encourage them to set off their “life reviews” as a process of acceptance of the passage of time and maturing the philosophical concept of existence.
- 3e. To attend to the needs for psychological support.

4. To experience quality personal relations that help them to satisfy their social-affective needs and to increase their sense of belonging to the community.
- 4a. To motivate interrelations and appearance of new friends.
- 4b. To regulate the conflicts that may arise in their interrelations.
- 4c. To encourage them to transmit their knowledge to the rest of the community, especially to the young generations, by preparing speeches or publications reflecting their wisdom.

a.- Which materials were used?
Classrooms of the centres, which had systems to project the images and exercises designed with computer presentation software, were used as indispensable tools. In addition to audiovisual projection, the activity was supported by photocopies and all the sessions were recorded with the expresses purpose of being able to prepare the final book of the project. As basic materials for the sessions we had photographs, texts, sounds and objects from the past.
b.- Who conducted the program / service activity? (What role, what qualifications, etc.)
For the presentation of each session it is important that the teacher has a number of characteristics: As well as having experience in ethnography and workshops for older people, they must be empathic, have enough communication ability, be self-confident, respectful of other people’s opinions and wishes, able to manage and even enjoy discrepancy and have a positive sense of life.

7 - METHODOLOGY USED (presentations, pair work, group work, peers, mentors, blended
learning, e-learning, etc.)
It is fruit of an educational program from Obra Social Novacaixagalicia, aimed at the cognitive stimulation of older people and that also recovers the history, customs, trades and memories of Galicia. The project MEMOGA collects graphical and testimonial contributions of nearly 200 older people who participate in the workshops held from October 2007 to May 2008, at the Older People Centres’ Network of Obra Social Novacaixagalicia
In that program photographs, texts, sounds and object from the past were used as tools, thus going deeply into the ethnographical and anthropological knowledge of the Galician culture and meeting a double target: training their cognitive abilities and appearance of positive emotions associate to a memory.
Reminiscence is a technique based on recalling the past with a positive purpose. Although it is used more often with older people, it is suitable for any age group. In the case of old age, as we are getting older an increase in innerness arises, we become more reflective. At this age introspection helps to review what the individual is and how they have arrived at that point. Then it is made a life review that helps to a re-elaboration that prepares the subject for the coming years.
The basic work tool has been the previous knowledge older people have about their culture. In this respect, ethnography and anthropology have a lot of say in Educational Gerontology since they contribute to develop older people’s identity and value their biographical sense. Through this matter-of-fact knowledge of the culture that older people have, and the theoretical knowledge of the teacher, a curious interrelation was established where not only knowledge was exchanged but also:
- the elder felt valued, protagonist and helpful,
- the elder integrated their past with the present, seeking for a projection into the future,
- the elder reached a consensus about their knowledge with the rest of the people and struck up a dialog that it would not have occurred if that situation had not arise,
- positive emotions and memories took part to motivate and make them to enjoy the tasks.
Each session started with a presentation of the subject, giving the participants cause to share the memories related to it. After this section, they went on to do a series of exercises intended for working the different cognitive abilities such as Memory, Calculation, spatial Orientation, Language ... During this second part, the dynamics was similar to a memory workshop but taking advantage of the subject of the day.
It is very important, for the teacher, to invest time and energy in the task of training the group in their dynamics of listening to and respecting each other individually. It is also important to keep the level of activity, manage the time in the exercises and encourage heterogeneous participations. Knowing when to shut off anyone escaping the subject or monopolizing the conversation requires being tactful and decisive, characteristics that can be acquired through the experience. For this it is advisable to work with groups not above 15 people.

SESSION 1: Inventions
SESSION 2: Folk and traditional healers.
SESSION 3: Livestock
SESSION 4: Weddings
SESSION 5: Markets, dealers and pulperías (taverns)
SESSION 6: Death and inheritance.
SESSION 7: Children’s games
SESSION 8: Adult pastimes
SESSION 9: House and its furniture
SESSION 10: The Magosto (chestnut party)
SESSION 11: Gastronomic festivals
SESSION 12: The slaughtering
SESSION 13: The school
SESSION 14: Tambourines and pandeiros (frame drums)
SESSION 15: Christmas and New Year
SESSION 16: Lost trades I
SESSION 17: Lost trades II
SESSION 18: Entroido (Carnival)
SESSION 19: Traditional music I
SESSION 20: Traditional music II
SESSION 21: Priests and nuns
SESSION 22: Cultivation of maize and watermills
SESSION 23: Bread elaboration
SESSION 24: Easter
SESSION 25: Wool and linen
SESSION 26: Daily works
SESSION 27: Orchard/vegetable garden
SESSION 28: Emigration
SESSION 29: Romerías (pilgrimages)
SESSION 30: The sea I
SESSION 31: The sea II
SESSION 32: Saint John’s Day (midsummer)
SESSION 33: Mowing, harvesting and threshing

Most of the information can be summarized into seven sections:

- Section 1: Childhood. The most remote memories related to the school and children’s games are addressed here.
- Section 2: Adults pastimes. The different offers of leisure, the first relations with the opposite sex and the musical aspect of the entertainment are reviewed.
- Section 3: Building the nest. It deals with the subject of marriage and creation of a home, and also its description.
- Section 4: In search of other horizons. Emigration, a social fact inherent to the Galician culture, is dealt with.
- Section 5: Daily works. This section reflects mainly the daily habits of a family living in a rural area.
- Section 6: Annual festivities. It is made a review of the characteristics specific to our culture in the celebration of Magosto, Christmas and Saint John’s Night.
- Section 7: Beliefs, superstitions and remedies. It is carried out a review of what has made Galician culture to be considered esoteric and mysterious.

MEMOGA is not only a program intended to stimulate the elder’s cognitive abilities that are declining, or a program intended to promote or value the experience acquired by older people through the years; it is a combination of both, where the contributions of psychology join those of the sociology and anthropology to tackle a particular profile of older person in a multidimensional way.
Reminiscence methods help the people, generate emotions and make them more human.
In addition, all the cultural background and folk knowledge that resides in all the older people from our society cannot remain unknown. It is necessary to give them the opportunity to transmit them to us and demonstrate them our entire acknowledgement. It is an interesting method, with a possible application in MENTA, and that can also help to better know and understand the cultural differences among the participating countries.


Fernández Aldrey, S., 2008. Memoga. La memoria de Galicia: Un estímulo para el recuerdo. Madrid: Obra Social Caixagalicia.

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Last Updated On Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:32 By José Jesús Delgado