Caritas Kyiv held New Year and Christmas holiday for seniors


09.01.14, Kyiv
“Some days ago New Year and Christmas holiday for 35 seniors was organized by Caritas Kyiv. Celebration was held within Home Care program activities.

People of 65 years old were the youngest among seniors, and the eldest became 90-year-old lonely persons. Of course, not all elderly clients were able to participate in celebration, because the majority of them are bed-ridden or find it hard to get around their room. But social workers and nurses took care of them by visiting seniors at their homes with presents, food packages and required healthcare products. All in all, this initiative seized almost 100 individuals,” informs Fr. Roman Syrotych, Director of Caritas in Kyiv.

Assistance and support of elderly individuals are components of one of the key fields of activities in local Caritas. For over 20 years employees of Caritas Kyiv render help to lonely people, disabled persons, seniors who are unable to get around and have to stay at home all the time or for those who find it difficult to move.

“I am grateful to Caritas and all these people for such a nice holiday. I couldn’t even remember the last time when I was so joyful! We, seniors, lack open communication. Thank you…” Maria Ivanivna shares her impressions with tears of gladness in her eyes.

Fr. Roman retells that nowadays nearly 100 elderly people are under care of Caritas Kyiv. This care foresees rendering of social, medical and material help. Assistance is provided in form of healthcare products, bed linen (Caritas volunteer sews bed sheets), hygiene means, swaddles  and diapers, constant care of visiting nurses and food packages.

“Nurses regularly visit and render qualified medical assistance to lonely seniors in the framework of Home Care project, though this work isn’t limited to these activities. Consultations on care of elderly people, psychological and legal advice are provided; employees help in cleaning, cooking etc.
Furthermore, Caritas Kyiv according to abilities and beneficence of its friends and partners support other elderly people, recreation houses, veterans of war and disabled individuals,” says Alla, Home Care medical practitioner.

Also in Caritas Kyiv there is a possibility to loan out rehabilitation equipment. People in need are provided with anti-decubitus cellular mattresses and pillows, pneumatic bowls for head washing, neck support pillows, toilet seats, wheelchairs, two-wheeled folding walking aid, sticks with four supports etc. Individuals who require these pieces of equipment constantly can get them for permanent use.

Recently, New Year and Christmas holiday for elderly people (some of them came alone, others were brought to the social center of Caritas Kyiv) was conducted together with volunteers of big international company. Celebration started with a joint culinary workshop that was held by experienced cooks. Participants were divided in three teams that involved elderly persons and company workers – it was a unique possibility to communicate, get to know more about each others, share impressions and present seniors personal gifts for New Year and Christmas.

“It was a really emotional and memorable experience. In my point of view, we, as a team, made a big present to all seniors who gathered in social center of Caritas. We didn’t have to do many things, but it meant a lot for those who have nobody close to them, who need hearty talks and personal attention,” volunteer Natalia shares her opinion.

Magnificent piano concert, greetings, joint festive table and giving of wonderful gifts continued the celebration. Fr. Roman Syrotych is convinced that this day became a real holiday for seniors who gathered in Caritas – pensioners, lonely ones, disabled individuals who first of all lack ordinary human attention. Their meeting with others was full of genuine warmth, sincerity, kindness and humaneness.

They were rejoicing, singing and talking; they felt important in company of kind people. On his own behalf and on behalf of all seniors, inspired by holiday mood, Fr. Roman expresses sheer gratitude to everyone who got involved in organization of this celebration and to those who will manage to conduct such events for clients of Caritas Kyiv in future.

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