Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program

by Fundacion de Beneficencia Hogar de Cristo
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Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program
Serving 1,765 elderly in our In-Home Care Program

Project Report | Aug 24, 2022
Meet Maria Jose and Jessica: workers at PADAM

By Matias Radunz | Project Leader

Meet María José and Jessica, Hogar de Cristo workers in the PADAM program: "We work to integrate the elderly".

The first is a social worker and head of the PADAM of Pichilemu that serves 30 elderly people, many isolated in the rurality of the commune Cardenal Caro, O'Higgins region. The second, a social technician, joined the work in 2017, encouraged by her mother, who is still a Padam volunteer. Feminine strength at the service of making visible those who no one sees: those elderly peasants who often do not read or write and are marginalized.

"Working with older adults is a constant challenge; they have a very different way of life from ours. You have to know their needs, their joys, connect with their stories to be able to help them in the best way possible. In general, they are very distrustful, but when they manage to bond with us, with Hogar de Cristo, we become a fundamental part of their lives," says María José Guevara (40), head of Hogar de Cristo's Padam in Pichilemu.

"I love what we do, I feel it is a challenge that in pandemic has been very demanding, but the joy they transmit, the connection we have with them is fantastic. Today, in Chile, the elderly are a bit abandoned, but Hogar de Cristo is giving them the space they need, making them visible in the community,"

For those who live in more remote rural areas, the work carried out by this team is more than indispensable. They visit them at least once a month and bring them a box with merchandise and diapers for adults, so they are often transported by volunteers, like Ariel, in his 4×4 truck or by the couple formed by Jaime and Rosita, who were there before María José came to live in Pichilemu and were members of the foundation's fundraising team. Also supporting them as volunteers are retired teachers Elena and Clemencia and even Jessica's mother, Elba, a retired paramedic technician from the Pichilemu hospital. It is a diverse and multigenerational group, although older people dominate.

Among the adults they have served, many cannot read or write, have never celebrated a birthday in their lives and are unaware of the social benefits to which they are entitled.

"It is a challenge that we have as a work team, to connect them with the networks, with the social service and improve their quality of life with the tools we have: volunteers, schools and companies that at some point have connected with the history of Padam de Pichilemu. In this way we are able to fulfill the mission that Father Hurtado left us and that, in reality every day, is changing in its concrete expressions, but the meaning is the same: to provide effective care, with an impact on the elderly and their families", summarizes María José.

We accompanied them to visit Luis Enrique, whom they met when he was still using an orthopedic cane but is now bedridden, and Nur, a 72-year-old woman who takes care of her husband Mario, also bedridden, as best she can.

-Jessica, what have you learned from them?

-One has such a different life; they have been through so much and, despite the difficulties they have had, they have put strength and determination to fight to survive. They teach me that you learn something new every day.  I learn from each one of the 30 we are in charge of and I want to be like them when I am their age: cheerful, optimistic, fighters. For me, this task is enriching. One has a better quality of life than the one they had and, for that reason, I hope that tomorrow I will not be a complicated person, that I will be open-minded, that I will not be left behind, because sometimes technological progress generates that in the elderly. I like to visit them and call them, I hope this program never ends.

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Organization Information

Fundacion de Beneficencia Hogar de Cristo

Location: Santiago - Chile
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Hdecristo
Project Leader:
Daniela Tosti-Croce
Santiago , Chile
$6,867 raised of $10,000 goal
29 donations
$3,133 to go
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