Mark Twain once said that goodness is that which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Caritas’ mission is to support isolated, elderly, destitute, and socially disadvantaged individuals and to extend a helping hand to anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation.
On 20 May, with financial support from the International Renaissance Foundation, Caritas of the Ivano-Frankivs’k UGCC initiated the Broadening the Spectrum of Social Services for Isolated and Disadvantaged Elderly People by Providing Direct Assistance in the Form of Groceries and Medicines project.
The project expects to assist 200 disadvantaged elderly individuals who live in Ivano-Frankivs’k and the surrounding region. Regional social services will help Caritas select clients that are to receive special packages.
Social workers from the regional centres help Caritas staff select individuals from the most vulnerable categories of society and, create individual plans for them.
From June through August, packages of groceries and medicines were distributed to 92 isolated, disadvantaged elderly individuals in 28 cities, towns, and villages in the Bohorodchans’ky, Tysmenytsky, and Halytsky districts. The total value of the packages was 24,117.30 UAH. Packages of groceries included: oil, grains, sugar, flour; packages of medicines included prescriptions written out by the client’s attending physician.
For the isolated elderly, the assistance that Caritas provides is more than just hand outs. It is a way for these clients to understand that they are not alone, and have not been abandoned in their advanced age. Sometimes recognizing this is more important for them than the groceries they receive. The attention they receive and the ability to talk with Caritas staff, who visits them at home, is much more important.
Social workers, including medical personnel, educate patients how to correctly follow the treatments prescribed to them, how to live with chronic conditions and prevent flare ups, and how to adjust their daily routines and nutrition to improve their health. All of these activities strive to improve the physical and spiritual status of the clients which in return helps to improve the social status of simple isolated, elderly village inhabitants.
“And it becomes easier to live; hands and bodies overworked by hard physical labour are less fatigued when concerned individuals offer them support. Thank God, that the world is still full of people with generous hearts, who cannot sit quietly while others are in trouble,” stated Yaroslav Klymbus, Kosmach’s village Chairman (Bohorodchans’ky district, Ivano-Frankivs’k region).