Home care in the buffer zone – a unique project of medical and social support by Caritas Ukraine


Caritas Ukraine implements the project “Home Care in the Buffer Zone”. The goal of the project is to provide medical and social support to single elderly and palliative patients with the help of social workers employed from among the unemployed local residents. Thus, this project promotes also the development of local communities.

The project is being implemented by the centers of Caritas in Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Starobilsk operating in the “gray zone”. 200 local people are officially involved in the work of the project. They are working in different locations along the buffer zone. Each of them was instructed and trained on the topics: Patients Who Need Extra Care; Taking Care; Psychological Support; Moving”. Each of the social workers provides social and medical support to three beneficiaries on average. In total, around 600 residents of the buffer zone receive assistance under the project.

According to the head of the medical programs of Caritas Ukraine Yuriy Nakonechnyi, the feature of the project in the buffer zone is that people in need are under the care of people who live in the area of ​​military operations. They help the infirm and elderly who cannot take care of themselves, find it difficult to leave the house or even get out of bed. “The assistants provide not only medical but also social support. If necessary, they can prepare food or arrange documents, measure blood pressure and keep control over the taking of medicine.”- adds Nakonechny. Besides, he pays attention to one more very important aspect of the project: opportunity to involve local residents in the care of the wards that enables the employment of those who have significant difficulties in finding a job.

In addition, the project provides medical grants for the purchase of medicines or the necessary medical equipment. Caritas’ mobile teams deliver the necessary medicines directly to the residents of the gray zone in the areas where access to medicines is difficult.

“Caritas has 20 years of experience in providing medical and social support at the place of residence. Today all services of Home Care are provided in accordance with the state standards of home care and palliative care,” – comments Halyna Kurnytska, coordinator of the Caritas Ukraine Home Care project. “These elderly people need support. As we not only carry out medical or hygienic manipulations but also give hope and bring them joy. Home Care is often the only way for them to stay in their own homes and avoid hospital based treatment or asylum,” – she adds.

The project is supported by Caritas Austria and the financial assistance of the Austrian Government through the Austrian Development Association.


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