“Rugby is one thing, but what I want is to leave a mark in geriatrics”: Lucien Mias went from Doctor Pack to Papidoc

“Rugby is one thing, but what I want is to leave a mark in geriatrics”: Lucien Mias went from Doctor Pack to Papidoc
“Rugby is one thing, but what I want is to leave a mark in geriatrics”: Lucien Mias went from Doctor Pack to Papidoc

the essential
The funeral of Lucien Mias, the French rugby legend of the 1950s, took place this Wednesday in Aiguefonde. But in addition to his glorious playing career, the doctor has above all revolutionized the care of the elderly.

The Aiguefonde church was far too small to accommodate the crowd who came to pay homage to Lucien Mias before his burial in the village cemetery this Wednesday afternoon. The granddaughters of this French rugby legend who died Monday at the age of 93 read a moving testimony and recalled that “doctor Pack was above all for us, first of all, a caring grandfather, always happy to help us welcoming and attentive to everything we did. We have unforgettable memories of the moments spent with him.

During this religious ceremony, Lucien Rogé, from Biterrois, one of the only veterans of the 1958 tour to South Africa, greeted “the exceptional leader of men and technician ahead of his time who was Lucien Mias” , the glorious 2nd line, captain of the French team and the Mazametian Sporting club in the 1950s.

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But Lucien Mias did not like people to summarize his life by his rugby exploits. His work as a doctor was much more important to him. “You know, rugby is one thing. But what I want is to leave a mark in geriatrics” he confided to Aimé Rivel, president of the Sporting Alumni Association.

Lucien Mias was the emblematic captain of the XV of France and Mazamet./ Sporting club mazamétain

After his playing career, he moved away from the field a little but always followed the evolution of his sport. He was, for example, one of the first to worry about the growing number of knockouts and had put pressure on the French Rugby Federation so that players were better protected.

The Castres-Mazamet hospital center also wanted to pay tribute to this general practitioner in Mazamet from 1960 to 1987 who, at the same time, took the reins of several services dedicated to the elderly within the Mazamet hospital between 1970 and 1996 until his retirement in 1996.

“A leading figure in the world of medicine”

The Pays d’Autan hospital recalls that “Doctor Lucien Mias was a leading figure in the world of medicine and a bearer of innovations in care and his approach. It was by taking up his hospital functions that he becomes aware of the lack of “taking care”, drowned in technical care, and of a real need to integrate humanity at the heart of the health system with elderly people with disabilities or cognitive disorders. With his teams, he will therefore work on a new therapeutic and relational approach for residents and thus create over the years the first long-term care unit.

In the long-stay department of the hospital, the “Doctor pack” will take up the fray. He refuses to allow the loss of autonomy of patients to turn into routine, into despair and lead to weariness and “burn-out” of caregivers. To therapeutic care he prefers, whenever possible, “taking care” of caregivers. This small revolution earned some protests from Lucien Mias. “I was the one who came to make a mess. So I was treated to a few inspections from the capital, doctors disagreeing, an uncooperative personnel department, hostile parades…”

A “team leader” who knew how to motivate his troops

As on the pitch, the man was not the type to escape, especially with the support of his team: “I did participative management. I worked with the team, I took their ideas, I generalized them But it was difficult to get people trained in medical technology to admit that singing or belote are caring techniques,” he said.

“He always said “go for it, I’m here to support you”. Despite the impressive character he was, he was a man who listened to everyone. Each member of the team had their role” remembers Monique Zambon caregiver who was part of her “close” team. Like Nicole Aussillous who speaks of a “very respectful team leader who knew how to motivate and add value to build this project and show that it was feasible even if some thought it was utopian”.

So that what was achieved did not fall into oblivion, Lucien Mias had written, with his team, a book “For an art of living during a long stay” then he had created the website “Papidoc”, which had become a Source of information for professionals, caregivers and older people and their families. Today it remains the benchmark for “taking care”. We better understand the “humanitude” of this extraordinary character who forever marked the history of Mazamet.



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