Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico

by Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza, Inc
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Disaster Recovery- Elders, San Antonio Puerto Rico
Participant being helped at home before surgery.
Participant being helped at home before surgery.

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."

Participant in official vehicle going to surgery.
Participant in official vehicle going to surgery.
Our Volunteer from Czech Republic.
Our Volunteer from Czech Republic.
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Groceries
Groceries

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.

One of the participants who received groceries
One of the participants who received groceries
Participant who received portatil toilet
Participant who received portatil toilet
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Volunteer with participant
Volunteer with participant

The meal on wheels for the elderly provide services for those with low income, are living alone or have chronic diseases.  We have two official vehicles to deliver the meals to their homes during the weekends.  There are two routes and volunteers deliver the meals every week.  Each route take one and a half hours (1 1/2 hr) to deliver the meals.  Volunteers use the vehicles which require regular maintenance in order to ensure a secure travel.  During this period, two tires on one of the vehicles had to be replaced.

One of our volunteers works for a private company (see photo).  She expressed the following regarding her experience:  "I have been worked like a volunteer for "Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza" more than two (2) years but every time when I do the meal distribution, it is amazing feeling to see smiling faces of all people, even they suffer with pain, and to hear from them "Dios te bendiga" (God bless you).  Thanks for the opportunity to work with you and to help the elder people."

Thanks to the donations received, we were able to get the tires for the vehicle (see photo) and buy more food so the elderly can receive the meals on time.  We are always looking for healthy and balanced food for our participants. The meals help them to improve their health conditions.

Official vehicle with new tires
Official vehicle with new tires
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Participant# 1-"I'm very happy with these items".
Participant# 1-"I'm very happy with these items".

The participants income are basically from the Social Security or other governmental aid for food so they don't have enough money to buy articles for their basic needs.   For this reason they frequently need items like:  soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, towels, blue paths, disposable diapers and hand sanitizer.  For those who has diabetes we give them alcohol, gauze sponges and insulin syringes.  As their income is very low they usually do not buy their medication and this impacts their health.  In some cases we gave them clothes, shoes, pijamas and/or slippers for those who are going to be hospitalized.  Our organization helps them because of their economic limitation. As soon as we identify their needs we prepare a small kit for distribution.  We are grateful to our donors who support our elderly program and who  help us to continue providing our services.

 Participant# 1 - He lives with his brother and both are participants, they need help with personal hygiene.  When he received his basic need kit he said:  "I'm very happy with these items."  He got shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving foam, tooth paste and brush. 

Participant# 2 -  He is a blind person who lives with his brother and said "Appreciate these items".  His kit contains shaving foam, tooth paste, alcohol pads and soap.

Participant# 3 -  "Just  what I need, I was getting short of these items and don't have enough money to buy them this week" was the expression of this participant who lives alone. 

Besides the basic need items kit distribution we continue with the meal distribution during the weekends and the nurse realizes regular visits to follow up the participants health.

Participant#2- "Appreciate these items".
Participant#2- "Appreciate these items".
Participant#3-  "Just what I need."
Participant#3- "Just what I need."
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Food Purchased
Food Purchased

The last donation received was very useful.  We were able to pay the gasoline for the two offical vehicles used for the meal distribution to the elderly.  We also bought a variety of food:  meat, rice, beans, vegetables, salt, oil, vinager, etc.  This allowed us to provide the elderly over 60 years old of a balance meal during weekends.  Most of our participants receive food coupons of aproximately $112 monthly and others a minimum amount from the Social Security.  Due to this low  income the variety of their meals is limited.  We briefly interviewed some participants to get their inputs regarding the food program.

Participant#1 who has asthma and her son Participant# 2 who has diabetes and high blood pressure live together and are in the program since two years ago.  They told us:  "With our low income we have to pay for our medicines and food among other expenses.  The meal program has lowered our expenses a little, otherwise we couldn't affort them all.  We are very happy with the service."

Participant# 3 said:  "I've been a participant since last year and I like the food a lot.  My menu was very limited and now I've been able to have a variet menu, a well balance meal."

Participant# 4 told us:  "I live alone and receive food coupons, used to cook a little, mostly can food.  The service I receive from the program is very good."

We are pleased to know that thanks to our efforts and the donors help we are able to provide the elderly some of their needs.

Food in storage
Food in storage
Participant# 1 and her son Participant# 2
Participant# 1 and her son Participant# 2
Eva Arce (Board of Directors) and Participant# 3
Eva Arce (Board of Directors) and Participant# 3
Participant# 4
Participant# 4
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Organization Information

Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza, Inc

Location: San Antonio, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Xiomara Méndez-Ruiz
San Antonio, Puerto Rico
$45,365 raised of $60,000 goal
 
681 donations
$14,635 to go
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