Dec 7, 2016

The story of Yevdokia Grigorievna

Yevdokia Grigorievna - first visit
Yevdokia Grigorievna - first visit

Dear friends,

I can say, throughout the last months a lot of exciting stories happened in the nursing homes through your support. We constantly receive reports, letters and photos from our more than 100 nurses where they write about after-stroke paralyzed people who start to move and get up from bed due to constant exercising, about disabled who gradually get up from wheel chairs, about evening tea events in homes where previously old people starved each day from 5pm to breakfast time.

But I would like to share with you one story which stroke me the most.

Last July Lisa Oleskina, the founder of Enjoyable Aging, posted a very painful note named “on humility” in which she discussed one of the nursing homes she visited. It was summer, therefore most nurses were absent on vacation with just one nurse left to serve the whole nursing home. The home itself was dirty, unpleasant, many beds basically had no linen, and around 40 bedridden inhabitants of the home reminded of ghosts, barely alive and absent-minded. In this desperate place Lisa found one old woman, the only conscious one in that room, who was praying humbly in her corner, crossing herself and all the time thanking God.

Soon after that visit “Enjoyable Aging” hired additional nurses to this home so that one nurse would care for 8 beddriden rather than 25-30. Also, “Enjoyable Aging” trained them explaining that the purpose of their work is not the ideal condition of walls and floors, but rather a good condition of inhabitants. This is not what the personnel is used to since the officials pay more attention to the former. The nurses were trained to care for the bedridden, teach them, eg to sit again, and very important – just talk to them and hold their hands.

In less than 3 months the volunteers saw remarkable changes during the next trip. Those old people who looked barely alived before, now greeted volunteers, talked and even smiled.

And here’s the letter sent by one of the nurses about that praying old lady:

“I take care of Yevdokia Grigorievna (the woman’s name) and her neighbours. I want to tell you that Yevdokia Grigorievna started to BLOSSOM! She still prays a lot and thanks me all the time. But she also started smiling. When last Saturday we were visited by volunteers who gave the concert in our home, at first, she didn’t want to go. When I found out why, I was shocked. The thing is, she has NEVER been outside her room in the last 5 years!!! And this is just because there were no one to assist her to get into the wheelchair, furthermore, she just didn’t have her own wheelchair. When I finally persuaded her to go, she took out a small package with fresh clothes which she kept “for funeral” and changed. I cannot describe to you all those emotions! Her tears of happiness! And this is despite she barely hears anything. Can you imagine that an almost deaf person can enjoy a concert like a child!

And one important thing. Despite at first, I also thought that all the other ladies in the room are in deep dementia, I was mistaken. All of them, besides one lady, are fully conscious, but they were fully secluded and didn’t want to talk to anyone. And now they cant stop talking to me. Thank you, all the supporters, from all my heart! "

When we read such letters, we realize more and more how important for us to keep those “bringing magic” nurses. There’re many of them, more than hundred, and each month we’re at risk of not raising enough money to pay their well-earned salaries.  And at the same time there’re too few of them for all those many bedridden old people in our nursing homes. And we cannot afford less!

We say again and again - your constant support is crucial! So that we wouldnt have to say to all those old people and disabled who started to come to normal life, that we cannot afford their normal life anymore. No way!

Thank you thousands times, our dear donors and supporters! 

Yevdokia Grigorievna - second visit
Yevdokia Grigorievna - second visit
Evening tea (Tver Gerontology center)
Evening tea (Tver Gerontology center)
Morning exercises with disabled (Tulskaya region)
Morning exercises with disabled (Tulskaya region)
Games and activities (Tulskaya region)
Games and activities (Tulskaya region)

Links:

May 26, 2016

One day of happy life and B-day cakes

Nina Vasilievna helps babushkas to walk, Vyazma
Nina Vasilievna helps babushkas to walk, Vyazma

In the beggining of the year “Enjoyable Aging” has launched a program called “One day of happiness”. In this program we encourage our donors to donate specifically for nurses hired by the Fund into the nursery homes. Each 10 USD you donate covers one working day of a nurse, or one day of better life for bedridden lonely old people (our babushkas and dedushkas).

Here’s the example of such day in Vyazma, nursing home in Smolenskaya oblast with around 250 inhabitants, accounted as one of the poorest among volunteers.  Around half-an-year ago “Enjoyable Aging” has hired Natalia Vasilievna to work as a nurse. Within half-an-year Natalia Vasilievna befriended with many of the inhabitants and improved their life:

- in the beginning of the day she helps old people to walk out of their rooms and even make some exercises.  Basically, in this big nursing home she’s the only one who can help them do it

- then, it’s morning time to wash and prepare yourself . For us it’s a routine procedure, but for most of nursing home inhabitants this is extremely difficult task.  Natalia Vasilievna helps them to wash, to comb, to cut nails

- then, she plays some easy funny games, like “Funny basketball”, developing eyesight and coordination.  Many of the babushkas love to play and are involved in the game

- reads newspapers.  This is very important, as most babushkas do not read themselves because of poor eyesight, in most rooms there’s no TV, so they’re losing the sense of reality. When someone comes to them reading news each day, they restore connection to outside world and become interested in what’s going on out there

- engages babushkas and dedushkas in various hand-crafting and games.  In the picture you can see babushka Galya who got into the nursery home after  the stroke.  After regular exercises with Natalia Vasilievna her speech has improved and she could start using her hand, you can see her collecting the puzzle.

We encourage you to watch the video at https://vimeo.com/161472866 and visit the program website http://dayofhappiness.ru/

Another exciting practice our nurses are implementing are…B-day celebrations! Yes, it’s very common for us to celebrate our B-days, invite guests, make parties and receive congratulations. But this is absolutely not the case in the nursing homes where the staff is so overloaded with the daily activity that they just have no time and will to congratulate babushkas&dedushkas on their B-days, especially those who are half-conscious, weak and bedridden.  Very often, when we, volunteers, ask babushkas about their birth dates, they can only name the year. They forget the date of their B-day, as this is something from their long-ago life when they were young, strong, needed and when they celebrated their B-days. 

Our nurses have started doing amazing thing – they are collecting the documents with the B-dates and then they come to babushkas&dedushkas on their B-days, congratulate them with flowers and cakes.  One of our dedushkas told us that the last time he blew the candle when he was a kid and he couldn’t stop smiling.

Thank you, our dear donors, that due to us we can bring these wonderful moments into life of dedushkas and babushkas, make them feel again needed, bringing them back their B-days with cakes and candles!

Helping to comb, Vyazma house
Helping to comb, Vyazma house
Reading newspaper to babushka, Vyazma house
Reading newspaper to babushka, Vyazma house
Basketball with babushka, Vyazma
Basketball with babushka, Vyazma
Babushka Galya collects puzzles, Vyazma
Babushka Galya collects puzzles, Vyazma
Birthday cake
Birthday cake
Birthday cake
Birthday cake

Links:

Dec 30, 2015

Our new nurses and the New Year preparation

Valentina Ivanovna, nurse in Begichevo
Valentina Ivanovna, nurse in Begichevo

This time we want to show you how old people in the nursing homes are preparing for the New Year celebration with the help of the Fund’s nurses.  But first, we want to introduce you our great team of nurses in Begichevo nursery home located in Tulskaya oblast.

Begichevo nursery home is located in the old mining town in Tulskaya region and now is the only employer there after the mines are extinct.  The nursery home itself is constantly under threat of being shut because of the poor condition of the building.  Nevertheless, the personnel in the nursery home is very active and caring, plus the “Enjoyable Aging” has hired 3 additional personnel.

Here they are.

Valentina Ivanovna, our nurse who takes care of bed-ridden old people: helps them to eat, takes them out for taking bath, cleans their rooms.

Raisa Ivanovna makes massage which is essential for bed-ridden people.

Valentina Konstantinovna is responsible for organizing activities: drawing, molding and all other types of creative activities which entertain, keep old people active, help them develop hand motility. She also plays loto with her wards, reads, helps writing letters and even organizes chekers tournarment.

Besides lonely old people, there are also many young disabled people living in these nursery home.  We want to introduce to you our wonderful Alexey (or Lesha), 37-year old buy with Down Syndrome who got into the nursery home in Vydropuzhsk, small village in Tver region, after his mother death 2 years ago.  Lesha has spent his life in village helping his mother, never attended school, never learnt to read. After his mother death he got absolutely lonely as a kid who lost parents. After we met Alexey in June and saw how desperate he was, we tried to visit him to support but it was too hard to drive 5 hours one-way.  Therefore, we launched recruitment process and we found local librarian Lyubov who immediately established rapport with Alexey.  Now Lyubov visits Alexey every week, teaches him letters, numbers, draws with him and walks.  Alexey enjoys the lessons, he is very eager to learn and makes progress.

And in the end, a few pictures on how babushkas (grannies) and dedushkas (grandpas) in the nursing homes are preparing for the New Year with the help of our nurses. They draw New Year pictures, cut snowflakes from paper, prepare New-Year postcards.

Thank you and Happy New Year, our wonderful donors who made this all possible!

Raisa Ivanovna, massagist in Begichevo
Raisa Ivanovna, massagist in Begichevo
Valentina Konstantinovna, activities organizer
Valentina Konstantinovna, activities organizer
Alexey, 37 year old, living in nursery home
Alexey, 37 year old, living in nursery home
Alexey learning to count with Lyuba
Alexey learning to count with Lyuba
Making pictures for the New Year
Making pictures for the New Year
Fur-tree out of paper and candies
Fur-tree out of paper and candies
Hand-made postcard
Hand-made postcard
New Year tree out of penne pasta
New Year tree out of penne pasta
 
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