For the last 13 years on the basis of its organizations in 8 oblasts of Ukraine, with help of Home Care project Caritas Ukraine provided care for over 7 thousands of lonely seniors and those who need external help. Such medical and social services were defined as a benchmark among state services, civic organizations and international experts. However, project may be under threat of closing due to lack of financial support.
Galyna Kurnytska, program national coordinator, answers questions about Home Care program for seniors, its complexity and perspectives of project continuation.
What does Home Care project foresee – why is it so significant and unique?
Nowadays each sixth Ukrainian (nearly 7 mln.) is an elderly person and every sixth – a lonely one (over 1,1 mln. people). According to the official data, over 2,7 mln. of people are registered as the disabled of different categories.
Our workers provide these people with wide range of services:
• body care of ill and feeble individuals;
• medical services;
• solving of legal issues;
• follow-up of psychologist and spiritual father;
• organization of recreation;
• consultations of clients, their relatives and caregivers etc.
What are your criteria for selection of beneficiaries?
The selection criteria are very clear:
1) a lonely low-income person that needs external assistance
2) a person that lost independent living skills due to disease advancement or age, and also an individual that temporarily lost possibility to take care of oneself independently (after a blood stroke, fractures)
Program has been operating for over 13 years – how did it change? What were the achievements, challenges, problems?
For the period of program implementation many things have changed: employees qualification, target groups, types of services. The only thing stayed the same: there is an individual in the center of activity, his/her needs, wishes and cultural values. Among the achievements there is an established cooperation with state institutions and civic organizations. And what is the most important – tens of thousands of people benefited from medical and social services, informational support and received rehabilitation equipment.
Regarding some negative points, there are lack of financial support and dependence from resources of foreign donors. Ukrainian authorities don’t acknowledge that they don’t cope with their direct function on care for lonely seniors. And business doesn’t join such type of social responsibility.
According to your opinion, what factors can help “Home Care” program to attain required scale and quality in Ukraine?
Firstly, it is important to prepare employees. Secondly, we require funds to pay for their work.
Nowadays we have 35 qualified workers that provide services to 500 people in need in 7 regional centers of Caritas. How many beneficiaries can we seize? I think that 10-15 times more having a budget to increase the number of personnel.
Are there really no support and donations from Ukrainians?
We have experience of receiving assistance from private persons – let’s say, donations for purchase of the most necessary hygienic means for the needful. There was a case when a corporate donor provided money for us to secure bedding for our beneficiaries. Furthermore, we had experience of on-line fundraising for medicines.
What are the requirements to “Home Care” workers qualification?
First of all, employees pass internship to acknowledge specific character of work and understand whether they are ready to do it. The next step of preparation foresees short-term courses where they get to know about peculiarities of care for the elderly and bed-ridden, receive information about specific problems that not every nurse has experience to deal with. Moreover, psychological readiness of a workers and participation in various educational seminars and conferences have a significant role.
Compared to state social services, ideology of Caritas work is that you have to approach any person with an open soul, with God and love in own heart – these are not certain services or responsibilities, but allegiance to lonely seniors.
A determinative criteria is to value human dignity in each person and yourself, in particular.
Everyone can contribute to the assistance of hundreds of elderly and terminally-ill people!
1) By donating online
2) By making charitable donation on bank account:
current account # 2600801913626 in Central Branch of the CB JSC KREDOBANK
* destination of payment: charitable donation for “Home Care” program