Here are some of the difficulties being faced daily by the ZANE carers as they reach out to the many elderly folk struggling to make ends meet as Zimbabwe continues it’s decline into chaos.
It has been a very busy month with Zane Aid deliveries and assessments. Generally, the focus seemed to revolve around the cost of living, potholes, dangerous driving, and lack of power and water rather than the pensioners themselves and their health issues.
It is quite clear that, in many cases, the onset of dementia is creeping in, and this is very evident when doing renewals and assessments, as often there is confusion with costs because of the multi-currency environment that prevails.
We visited one of the biggest and best-run homes in Harare, where we found that the matron in charge was very down and worried about the finances – or lack thereof, and a myriad of other problems, which she says are, “the worst they’ve ever been”. Residents are struggling to pay fees; bills are in arrears; and there are difficulties meeting salary commitments. These are just a few of the many problems the home is suffering.
We did an assessment of David, who suffers from emphysema and a groin hernia and is very frail He is sadly estranged from his sons, who live in the UK, and all attempts to contact them have been blocked. His brother in the UK is unable to help him financially.
He is employed as an admin officer/mechanic with a panel beating company and earns a meager salary, which is insufficient to cover his rent, and his arrears are mounting, which is of great concern to him. He is a deserving case, and we have agreed to help David with a partial payment towards his fees.
We also assessed Anna, who is 92 years old, virtually blind from macular degeneration, and hard of hearing. She lives on her own, but due to unexplained bouts of sleeping, has decided that she needs help moving to assisted living, especially after her recent fall.
She is very cheerful and friendly and would benefit from being with other people in a safer environment. We have done the research and advised her of her options.
Franny was lying down on her bed when I arrived. She was pale and tearful and complained that she had lost her appetite and is feeling weak. I gave her a packet of Epap to try to build up her nutrition.
Her family is suggesting a move to a bedsit to help with the financial strain, but she feels she’s not ready to make such a big move.
Alison B. complained of an upset stomach, which she says she has had for some time and which the doctor has attributed to “her body wearing out”. She is fiercely independent and fastidious, so is self-conscious of this and now prefers to stay in her room rather than going to socialise with the others.
Since Peter M’s wife moved to a care home, his grand mal epileptic seizures seemed to have stopped, although he still suffers petit mal fits. The administrator attributes this to less stress, as he was struggling to take care of her.
It appears that his short-term memory is starting to deteriorate, and she feels this could become a problem at the home – we will have to see how this plays out and whether there is anything more that can be done for this couple.
* Names and images may have been changed for privacy reasons
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Thank you – Nicky Passaportis ZANE Australia
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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.
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