Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine

by Friends of the Four Homes of Mercy
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine
Support Families with Special Needs in Palestine

Because of your help, our family support groups at Four Homes of Mercy have provided an ever-widening circle of help to the families of those severely challenged people for whom we provide a residence and therapeutic services. Attracted by the demeanor and actions of the group’s participants, others have now joined and gratefully received the support of their peers as well as staff.

Sadly, still within the local communities, families with an impaired loved one encounter much negativity expressed in looks as well as words.

To avoid the pain, some family members anxiously tend to isolate themselves, and live on the margins of life.  The stress often impairs all aspects of the family’s life—even leading to divorce.  The ability of the family to care for their impaired one becomes greatly reduced.

For these families, the family support group is literally a lifeline.

Nadia, our newest resident, is 17.  Suffering from oxygen deficiency at birth and greatly underweight, she spent her first month of life in the hospital.  Because of a genetic defect, she has failed to develop normally.  Her 19 year old brother also suffers from the same defect.

When the stress of caring for Nadia and her brother caused her parents to divorce, they brought her to the Homes—and began to participate in the family support group.

With the support of others in the group, they are learning how to cope with their stress and guilt, how to make Nadia’s brief visits home more enjoyable and easier for all, how to emerge from their cocoons, to do some things they enjoy, and cope with the stares and glares of ignorant and unkind people…..Their relationship is slowly mending.

Thank you for helping to provide the healing to this family—and to many others.  There is no way we can thank you enough!

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Family Support Program

 

This is what YOU have made possible by your gifts—the continuation and expansion of our family support program!

 

Issa’s younger sister is also differently-abled but less impaired and much smaller, easier to lift from bed to wheelchair and back.  In the Family Support Group meeting, their mother shared how extremely stressful and exhausting it had been, caring for both children at home, trying to get Issa the support he needed, and the tremendous strain it had been for the family. She also shared how hard it had been to make time for the rest of her family, and how it had affected the relationships with other family members….She said that during this especially difficult time, she found it very helpful to get advice and support from the parents of other challenged children who could readily emphasize with her difficulties.  She is now deeply grateful for the chance to share her feelings of frustration at her inability adequately to care for both children at home, her sadness of having to return Issa to the Homes and her happiness and relief that he is again getting the help and stimulation he needs.

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Maryam’s father, a teacher, married another woman after the death of his wife.  During the 10 months of the Corona Crisis, he cared for her.  When, however, the Homes were able to re-admit residents, his current wife threatened to leave if he continued to keep his daughter at home.  Feeling very depressed, but that he had no choice, he brought his daughter back to the Homes.  He told the group that the feelings of sadness and remorse had continued to haunt him.  Meeting with other families and sharing the same problems, he reported, “greatly helped him to reduce these bad feelings”. 

 

The Four Homes of Mercy created the family support program to provide information, advice and emotional support to families to strengthen the caring connection to their loved ones, whenever possible, have their resident home for visits.    Four groups now meet on Fridays.  After the meetings, the participants usually spend time with their loved ones.  Our residents are delighted!

 

For families, living with and caring for a person with intellectual disabilities has clearly adverse effects on the health and well-being of parents, and family members. For parents, having a disabled child increases stress, takes a toll on mental and physical health and affects all aspects of family life, including decisions about work, education, family finances and social relations.  Many families, lacking knowledge about how to cope with someone with intellectual disabilities, and/or how to cope with the social stigma having such a family member too often creates, decide to place their loved one in a place that specializes in caring for such individuals.  Alas, this often results in the isolation and segregation of the loved one from their families and communities which negatively impacts that person’s self-image and mental health.  Unfortunately, because of the lack of community-based programs, many families have no alternative.

 

The Homes are working to expand Family Support Program to provide support to additional families, both within and without the Homes.

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Family Support Group - Meeting in person!
Family Support Group - Meeting in person!

A wonderful day!  the reunion of the Family Support Group—that for the past two years,  Covid had allowed to meet only via zoom and/or whatsapp.  The meeting brought forth lots of lots of radiant smiles, happy greetings,  and great sighs of relief.  Each participant knew he/she had survived Covid-time, and could see those who also had survived the  two years of very difficult challenges.

 

You gave an enormous gift by giving our people the chance to share in person their trials and triumphs. Your gifts kept this program alive.

 

Finally, after sharing their challenges, the family members were able to start planning for the future—how to further enrich the lives of their loved ones during visits to them at the Homes, which they hope to be more frequent than pre-Covid.  Each family member learned something from the others that will make this possible.

 

Besides reaching out to others’ family members, this group will also help the Homes’ staff to reach out to and involve others who, for a variety of reasons, were unable to participate regularly during Covid.  The seeds you have planted will provide a rich crop of education and support to our other families—thereby enriching their lives and the lives of their loved ones whom they entrust to us.

 

On behalf of the families, their loved ones and our staff, our deepest thanks.

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     YOU have provided an essential emotional outlet, education, and medical and therapeutic guidance to our families whose previous experience with their disabled loved on have been only on visits to them at the Homes, or only on short stays at home.  

Challenges you have made far easier have included:

  • What to do when their impaired, no-verbal loved one was crying for long periods of time and one’s attempt at comfort was not working?
  • How/when to encourage the loved on to feed himself/herself?
  • How to transfer the loved one safely from bed to wheelchair without injuring either the loved one, or one’s increasingly elderly back?
  • How to provide stimulation when, because of logistical challenges-like stairs, one could not even take the loved one outside?
  • How to deal with the gnawing fear that one was not doing things ‘right’ or enough things to prevent regression of skills?
  • How to deal with the frustration of one’s own exhaustion and isolation?

     Throughout Covid, until their loved one could be returned to the Homes, family members, initially bonded by the family support groups at the Homes, vented to, consulted with, and shared experiences with one another through WhatsApp. Having support from others who truly understood their frustrations and challenges made an enormous difference to them and all in their families.  Frequent group meetings (via zoom) with staff provided additional support and therapeutic expertise.  Now, to the joy of all, most residents have returned and the Family Support Groups are again able to meet at the Homes. 

     Thank you for all you have done to lighted some very heavy burdens.

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Time together
Time together

The Four Homes of Mercy

Family support program

 

Ventilation session

Our experience during the last year

 

In addition to providing information, advice and emotional support to families to create a caring environment to their loved ones through phone and what'sApp we decide to make a ventilation session with families, and to know about their experience during the last year when they bringing residents back to the homes.

Halima mother said : sometimes I feel it’s a very fantastic period when my daughter have grown closed to me and engaging emotionally with her," at the beginning " But on the opposite side , it’s a very difficult period that I never complain and don’t face stress like this, for example during the first six months I never allowed any one to visit me even my sister to avoid bringing the virus to my home " I don’t care about myself" but   I am afraid and worry about my daughter to catch infection whom have low immunity. 

One of the most amazing thing happened with one day  I spent most of the day searching the key of the door and finally I found it in the door. Really I never know the importance of the four homes and the effort the employee do and the nature of care they provide to our loved ones as this year, despite my daughter admitted since 17 years  . Thanks to God for the availability of this place. 

Support!
Support!
Mother helping her blind daughter
Mother helping her blind daughter
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Organization Information

Friends of the Four Homes of Mercy

Location: Cupertino, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @none
Project Leader:
Liz Mulford
Cupertino, CA United States
$29,414 raised of $42,500 goal
 
224 donations
$13,086 to go
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