Aug 22, 2018

Total Rehab: exercise, animals, art and cooking

This patient formerly walked with a frame
This patient formerly walked with a frame

We believe care is much more than just feeding or washing. We try our best to prove it by what we do and in that  we rely on your support. This time we’d like to tell you about rehabilitation and regaining (or preserving) skills for daily living, which are also important parts of care.

 

Rehabilitation Programmes

 

The donations we have received since our last report have helped us introduce rehabilitation practices in the care homes under our supervision. With the money we raise together, we hire nurses who specialise in after-stroke rehabilitation techniques and help elderly people overcome the consequences of lengthy lack of mobility. For example, in Tverskaya region our nurses are helping residents restore their mobility through exercise and professional support. They have already achieved some visible results: one patient, who had to use a frame to walk, can now straighten his back and his arms are strong enough to bear half a minute holding onto the horizontal bar.

Another patient, who had to use a wheelchair, is now recovering and getting back to his feet. He has overcome his fear of standing thanks to the help and support of new rehabilitation specialists.

 

Animal Therapy

 

Closely linked to physical rehabilitation techniques are different ways of emotional support and ensuring feel-good atmosphere in care homes. The one in Rzhev has acquired a fish bowl and put it in the unit for immobile residents. Natalia, the care worker we hired with your help and support, has taken responsibility for the fish who brighten up the lives of the patients and the staff as well.

Another example comes from Oktyabrsky Gerontology centre (Kostroma) where elderly people have been visited by trained therapy dogs. The emotions aroused by the visit are precious.

 

Growing new lives

 

More positive stories from the Rzhev care home! A new greenhouse was built there thanks to your donations. Some residents have remembered their vegetable growing experience, others have taken up a new hobby. Those less active just come to watch the plants grow. And now there’s the first harvest.

Performers’ Skills

 

Art therapy is also an important way to boost the well-being of care home residents. And your generosity makes it possible to introduce different art therapy techniques, as we pay the care workers who put them into practice. Lydia is one of them. She organised a glove puppet studio in the care home in Elhovka (Samarskaya Region). In June the little “troupe” held a show in the local kindergarten.

 

Cooking Skills Contest

 

Not exactly a kind of therapy but definitely an entertaining and useful activity -- a cooking contest -- was held by the care workers we hired for the Rzhev (yes, again) care home. 9 people turned out willing to test their skills in the kitchen. Two teams (of 4 and 5) were given the same ingredients and enough time to prepare a tasty salad fit for a feast.

Cutting is actually a useful motor skill preferably not to be lost in the older age. Besides, the communication which takes place while doing something together is invaluable for care home residents.

We are happy to regularly receive news like this from all the care homes we support and supervise or learn that mortality rates in immobile patient units have fallen by half in the last two years. And we never forget it is you who make all the changes for the better possible. Thank you for your sympathetic attitude and for staying with us. We’ll keep you clued in.

Therapy dog Artu visited elderly residents
Therapy dog Artu visited elderly residents
New greenhouse in Rzhev
New greenhouse in Rzhev
First vegetables grown
First vegetables grown
Cooking contest
Cooking contest
After the cooking contest
After the cooking contest
May 25, 2018

Helping Enjoy the Spring

Snow Delivery
Snow Delivery

We have collected some meaningful spring stories made possible by donations, your care and attention we receive through this project.

Snow Delivery

In the last days of winter, our care workers in the gerontological centre in Tver brought snow into their bedridden patients’ rooms. People enjoyed the sight and touch of it, some rubbing it into their faces, others making snowballs.

One of the female residents asked the care workers to do something similar again someday in the future. Because it is not the actual delivery of snow that makes people feel better, but rather the fact that the nurses care enough to enjoy simple things together with their patients.

Power of Art

In March Nina, an event manager we hired for the care home in Velikiye Luki, organised a drawing workshop. All the participants learnt new watercolour techniques and enhanced their emotional well-being. Their works of art will be exhibited in their rooms as well as in the halls of the care home.

Meanwhile, in Tovarkovo care home residents worked on Easter eggs of clay, plasticine and salty dough. Those handmade items were also exhibited as a reminder of how much pleasure people derived from the process of creating them. The workshop was organised by the people whose wages are paid from what we raise through this project.

During art therapy sessions and different workshops, elderly people get a chance to express themselves freely while surrounded by care and understanding. It is exactly what they need now, as quality day-to-day care is gradually becoming the standard.

Birthday Cake

Faina I. is a resident in the care home of Rzhev. There she met Anatoly P. who became her friend, always ready to talk and help with a piece of advice.

In March Anatoly P. turned 75 and Faina I. decided to make a birthday present for him. She had many options in mind and asked our care workers for help. The nurses suggested a birthday cake.

As handmade presents are always the best ones, Faina I. with the help of the care workers baked and decorated a birthday cake for her friend! Accompanied with a song and a simple miracle of a friend’s love, the cake turned out to be the best present for Anatoly P..

Into the Space

On April 12 the residents of the gerontological centre in Tver celebrated the Space Exploration Day dedicated to the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space mission. The event manager we hired for the centre, organised a lecture on Yuri Gagarin and the Soviet space programme followed by a quiz on the universe and space exploration. Galina, the event manager, admits, “The participants remember a lot of details which were in the newspapers or on TV at the time. For example, they told me how worried people were about Yuri Gagarin, how some of them secretly prayed for him to return to Earth alive”.

The space was also a topic of an art therapy session. The pictures and small-scale sculptures made up a mini-exhibition.

Victory Day

Victory Day is one of the most important holidays for the elderly people in Russia, although the actual veterans of WW2, of course, are now rare among the residents of care homes. On May 9 volunteers visit care homes with concerts, sing war time songs and listen to those who wish to share the memories about their parents who fought or worked hard during the war and their own childhood in the 1940s.

These are the stories we would like to share most but there are many more stories of simple things like breathing fresh air made possible by your donations. Unfortunately, regular care home staff don’t have enough time to help everyone get dressed and seated in a wheelchair, not speaking of assisting people with getting out and accompanying them (for many cannot turn the wheels themselves and need help especially on bumpy roads). Even the very wheelchairs which can be used outdoors were bought with the donations because those provided by the state cannot last for more than two years and do not suit the outdoor conditions. You give elderly people a chance to enjoy fresh air and other simple things which only seem insignificant but in fact, shape what we call happiness. We thank you most sincerely for your help.

Learning New Watercolour Techniques
Learning New Watercolour Techniques
Creating Easter Eggs
Creating Easter Eggs
Birthday Cake
Birthday Cake
Handmade Items Dedicated to Space Exploration
Handmade Items Dedicated to Space Exploration
Victory Day Concert
Victory Day Concert
Feb 26, 2018

Looking Back and Going Further

On an outing in Tula
On an outing in Tula

Dear donors,

This is our regular report on the subject. We would like to look back and remember what we’ve managed to achieve up to this moment thanks to your kind help and support.

During these two years, the donations we got have enabled us to hire about 120 additional care workers for 25 nursing homes in 12 different regions all around Russia as well as pay for their training (more than 40 sessions in two years!) in professional caring for elderly people with reduced mobility. And we thank you for that.

Moreover, we have been able to pay the wages of the people who organise activities, such as concerts, talent shows, art workshops, outings, sports events, etc. All these are extremely important to the residents of nursing homes who otherwise would have to spend the rest of their lives confined to their bedrooms. You made it possible for them to express themselves, regain interest in life, and we thank you for that.

Furthermore, in 2017 40 people, previously thought immobile and bedridden, recovered mobility and returned to a more active lifestyle due to rehabilitation. In general, the necessary therapy was made possible by your donations which were used to hire additional care workers; more staff meant more time for each particular person, better quality of care, better communication which inspired hope and self-esteem necessary for the treatment and rehabilitation to be effective. Those who have discovered they can still do something for themselves thank you too.

Of course, there is a lot in store for us and there is still a lot to do. We are planning to go further as well as carry on helping understaffed nursing homes because, after all, people are the most important aspect of our work. Keep up with further news on this issue and our upcoming projects — and thank you for being with us.

A Talent Show
A Talent Show
Sports Event (Tver)
Sports Event (Tver)
Rehabilitation Process
Rehabilitation Process
More Staff Means More Time For Each Person
More Staff Means More Time For Each Person
Regular Exercise Is Part of Rehabilitation
Regular Exercise Is Part of Rehabilitation
 
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