by Anne Carr
The third health discussion group was held Friday June 3. The consensus was that a survey might help in planning various kinds of quality care for expats who might need extra support in daily living activities at some time in their life in Cuenca.
Traditionally, quality is about a search for definitive and universal criteria that offer certainty, order, and a belief that such criteria can be found. It asks the question, How far does this product, this service, or this activity conform to a universal, objective, and predetermined standard?
Peering behind this public face of quality, we can discern a technical claim that it is even feasible and desirable to find and apply scientifically based, value-free, and stable standards for evaluation. In our situation, such criteria could replace the need for us to make a subjective evaluation through the application of a technical objective, in this case, a survey. Once reduced to a set of criteria, quality can be assessed using a technical instrument that measures the conformity of that service to a norm, in order to better regulate it for increased market consumption.
Our online survey, which will ask expats about the kind of quality retirement living they might seek, will be an important means to make judgments about what is good or right within a framework of universal ethics focusing on location, architecture, technical practice, and cost.
Comments from some participants reminded us about the care of the sick and/or elderly as a sensitizing concept to evaluate a range of social practices (such as attentiveness, responsibility, competence, and responsiveness to each other), along with particular acts of caring and a general habit of mind, rather than only a locus of instrumentality and technical practice.
What do we want? What do we think quality is? What is our image of the process of life as we age and how do we want to live it?
Our group is in the process of establishing meaning. We are listening to each other, without knowing why, before we can know what we are listening to. Being part of this group, we are cautious and pragmatic, reconfiguring our ideas with one another as we introduce critical thought and contestation into areas normally treated as only technical.
If you are interested in multiple perspectives, values, and diversity about the “meaning of life” and beyond please join us on Friday, June 17, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Abraham Lincoln Centre, Borrero y Calle Larga.
And the survey will be posted soon.