Our participant's nutritional needs are different because of their health and economic situation. All of their income are from food coupons. We have a couple who are both participants of Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza. The husband had a critical health problem and was hospitalized twice for more than a week and in the same month. He had a stomach condition among other ones. His wife, 81 year old, with other health conditions was at home very worried. Because of this situation our organization provided her (Participant #1) with emergency groceries necessary for her husband condition. She got milk, ingredients to prepare soups, juices, desserts and breakfast ingredients. We also provided medicines that were not covered by her husband medical plan. The Case Coordinator took him to the medical follow up appointments and the nurse visited him during his recovery.
The couple was very grateful for the assistance that Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza provided during this critical time in their lives.
We are distributing about 390 to 400 meals during Saturdays and Sundays at the participant's homes. A youngster and his mother, both volunteers, were with this task last month. Participant #2 who is handicapped, received a stew (rice and meat).
Constant visits to a group of participants that because of their age and health required additional follow up. They had the following conditions: diabetes, dialysis patients, heart conditions and high blood pressure. Visits had been made to different offices to coordinate services as part of the elderly services follow up. The official vehicles were used to provide all services.
One of our male paticipants is 82 years old, very poor and do not have relatives. When he was collecting empty cans near the street a car hit him and had a fracture in his left knee. Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza helped him with the ACAA (gubernmental office who is in charge of managing car accident insurance cases). We were able to get him medical appointments and transportation in our official vehicle to Mayaguez which is 21 miles away from our town. He needed a knee surgery and we provided the transportation to the surgery and the post-surgery appointments. The whole process went from January to February 2015. The participant is at home, doing well and we continue providing follow up during his recovery.
We continue with the meal distribution during the Saturday's and Sunday's actually to 45 participants. The nurse visits them regularly to verify their health status.
The volunteers are an important part of the Elderly Program. One of our volunteers is an employee to a private company located in our town but comes from the Czech Republic. He's been doing meal distribution during Sunday's since about 2 years ago and he's very enthusiastic. We are sharing his experience below:
"It's something I will never forget and I will have always remember my "clients". These people became kind of my elder friends, there are one weekend in good mood (despite all the circumstances), another one with health troubles looking for any possible help. I really appreciate the support your organization provides to them because in case of any troubles they have nobody to ask for help. I enjoy distribution of lunch indeed, it's my Sunday routine."
Our goal is to maintain the elderly health and one way is to provide them a balanced meal. We continued with our regular meal distribution in the homes of our participants. A Case Manager visits the participants on a regular basis to verify their needs. She identified eight (8) participants that are in a very critical situation. For those we prepared some groceries so they could cook some meals on their own which was in addition to the weekend meals. The goods were: oatflour, pancakes flour, evaporated milk, rice, beans, sausages, sardines can, vegetables, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, mashpotato mix, applesauce, fruit cocktail dessert. These goods are easy to prepare as some elders do not have the skills to cook complicated meals. They can prepare these groceries during weekdays as they need, so they can be nourished in the days that we do not distribute the meals. The participants were happy and said: "We are grateful because we were short on groceries as our low income and food stamps are not enough for the month."
We also have one handicapped participant that has only one leg. She had a old portable toilet that was on a very bad condition. She cannot use the bathroom during the night. Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza was able to provide a new portable toilet. She said: "Thank you a lot, I really need it and couldn't affort to buy a new one." Her husband is also an elderly participant.