The last years Republic of Moldova is confronting complicated and uncertain political, economic and social situation. The lack of economic development and the non-working social politics has led to the absence of social care for the elderly and people with disabilities. Being more interested in reformations and investments in the law sector, the social protection has been more or less ignored. In this way the most vulnerable social layers as: lonely elderly and persons with disabilities don’t get enough or qualified health and social assistance. This led to the need of developing and putting into practice a project that would cover the gaps in this system.
The project HELP (Helping Elderly Lonely People) aims to improve access to primary health care and social services for 450 vulnerable lonely elderly persons in Chisinau, Starcea and Stauceni. It conveys key messages and requests related to health care services to decision makers and public, in order to influence legislation and administration for more and better services for elderly.
We found out about the old lady after watching a reporting at PROTV channel evening news. Her 3 sons left her alone, ill and powerless in a city flat. She declared that no one is helping her and she is starving from some while. As she is ill, she is walking with difficulty within the house, not to mention going out to the grocery store to buy food or going to the policlinic for an examination.
“Believe me, for Christmas I didn’t have even a crumb of bread to eat.”
Thanks to the project „HELP” – Helping Elderly Lonely People – implemented by Caritas Moldova, that has the purpose to improve the access to primary health care and social services for elderly – it was possible to intervene in this case and to offer the needed medical care and social home care for this old lady.
The nurse and the coordinator for medical projects of Caritas Moldova visited the old lady, brought her a package of non-perishable foodstuffs and hygiene items. She was asked regarding health and why her sons are not helping her. She said that her health is getting worse and she is powerless by the bed. Her sons are upset until now because when they were children she left them in a boarding school. One of them is sharing a room in that flat but he comes home rarely, drinking alcohol and is very aggressive and recently he broke her crutches.
„Helping a needy person is a complex process that requires investigations; it needs to be monitored by a team of professionals with experience. It is not just about offering a material help (which is creating addiction, it is a hard work of several professionals (social assistant, nurse and quarter police officer) who investigate the case and establish the most reasonable and efficient solutions.”
Shortly after this visit we contacted the representatives from Buiucani quarter social assistance, the quarter police officer and the family doctor. In this way a social survey was started. The family doctor informed us about the health status of the old lady and what medications she should take.
- According to the E27 type medical document and the medical rehabilitation recommended by the family doctor, Caritas bought the needed medications. During the next 3 months Mrs. Ecaterina will be visited by the nurse and by the social assistant 2-3 times per week to measure her physiological data and to control the her health condition.
- Affected by this story the Charity foundation “Providence House” (that owes a soup kitchen in the same quarter where the old lay lives and which provides warm meals for elderly) decided to offer her once per week a lunch, that will be brought directly to her house by the social assistant of Caritas Moldova.
At our social assistant’s second visit we met one of her sons, who has the 3rd grade of disability and lives outside the city and has a very small alimony of 500 MDL monthly (approx. 24 €). He had cooked something from the products we brought for her. One could clearly see happiness on her face and hope that something is changing to better in her life.
During 3 months this case will be monitored by the social assistant and nurse of Caritas Moldova to help her improve the health but also emotional condition. With the support of quarter social assistance workers and quarter police officer we will help the old lady to get in touch with her sons, hopefully that they will take care of her in the future.