The latest reports from Zimbabwe show that life is gradually returning to normal after the prolonged Covid shutdowns but that the elderly are still battling to survive. The commitment of the wonderful ZANE teams on the ground in the country never ceases to amaze us and we are always humbled to see how our wonderful band of donors steadfastly continue to support this life saving work.
We Have assisted John B with food parcels since he came onto our books a few months ago. He is destitute and very frail and unwell. His daughter came to see me about him and I spoke with her at length. She looked exhausted and worried and I’m afraid her worries about her father are taking a heavy toll on her health, as she works part time for a low salary, trying to support herself and him. I will keep in contact with her. John later phoned to thank us for the food parcel and was gracious and charming. However, he said he feels very unwell and is worried about this.
Grace W. who lives at one of the care homes, was crying and very sad when I saw her there recently. We assist her with some of her medical costs and I keep in regular contact with her. She has two sons, one of whom is a great support for her both physically and emotionally, whilst the other is in fact the opposite, unmotivated, unable to keep down a job, living at the home as well and frequently reduces Grace to tears. Her elder son, living in the U.K, has no option, but to pay for his brother’s costs, which is upsetting for Grace.
I also did and interview with Laura D, who still manages to eke out a meagre living doing the books for someone at the care complex where she lives. The owner of the flat in which she is living died a few months ago, so Laura has been worrying that the family may ask her to move out. This would be very difficult for her with her disability (1 leg amputated because of diabetes complications) and she talks a lot about this and her options each time I visit her.
I visited and delivered to Astrid, who is always content and happy with her life. She is close to her granddaughter, who lovingly visits Astrid every week and treats her to lunches and excursions. What a huge difference it makes when elderly people are loved.
On the opposite end of the scale are those who are lonely and isolated. We help Maggie S from time to time with food parcels and although she never complains about anything, I can read in her face that she feels alone and therefore has to “manage” alone with life.
The week started with a referral from SOAP charity. Stuart J, who receives a monthly food parcel from this charity, was referred to us for help after he collapsed at his home. His daughter rushed him to a nearby clinic where they examined him and tested his sugar levels. Stuart’s sugar levels were through the roof and climbing and he was also severely dehydrated. He was given a rehydration drip and an insulin injection and sent on his way. When I called his daughter she was very stressed about her father, not knowing how to deal with this problem. She is currently unemployed and has no money to help her father with further doctor’s visits or medications. ZANE has paid for Stuart to see a doctor, have blood tests to confirm his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and medications for a urinary infection. Both father and daughter were very grateful for ZANE’s assistance, saying “I do not know what we would have done without your help, my father would have died”.
We also visited Bob after his recent blood tests and visit to the doctor. The doctor confirmed his PSA levels had dropped dramatically and, although this is good news, it will not affect his stage 4 prostate cancer, but rather reduce his pain. Bob was looking really well and had gained some weight since our first visit in November last year. We both tried to encourage Bob to put his affairs in order, whilst he is feeling mentally and physically well.
We have finally restarted the creative therapy at one of the large retirement complexes – in the past this was very popular indeed but only eight residents took part this time, which was a bit disappointing. However, those who attended enjoyed themselves.
It’s my thinking that residents are still frightened of catching COVID so many remain in their flats or rooms. I am sure we will have more takers as the weeks go by and the residents regain confidence in going out.
* Names and images may have been changed for privacy reasons
If you are already a ZANE donor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you are not a donor but would like to be, please follow the link below and know that every donation, however big or small, goes directly to where it is most needed. If you would like to help but can’t donate, please join the ZANE family and ‘like’ or ‘share’ our posts or write us a Google review – every positive step helps spread the word about the life changing work ZANE does.
Thank you – Nicky Passaportis ZANE Australia
Please donate to support pensioners struggling to survive in Zimbabwe
Any assistance is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to giving our pensioners a better quality of life and lift the pressure of money worries which is very debilitating emotionally.
(Donations made to ZANE in Australia, are tax-deductible)