It is recognised that the elderly are often the forgotten. They can be isolated and left without a family. This makes them highly vulnerable with unmet needs.
In February 2013 HelpMadina met with the respected elders of the town. There was a unanimous request that the vulnerable elderly be helped.
As a result of this request, HelpMadina undertook a house to house survey vulnerable adults in order to understand in greater detail the hardships that they face in everyday life.
This fieldwork confirmed what was suspected in that there is an unmet need for the vulnerable elderly.
These unmet needs included:
- Health Care
- Nutrition and lack of food
- Poor level of clothing
- Social isolation
- Poor accommodation
The majority were existing solely on the goodwill gestures of neighbours.
In response to these findings HelpMadina put forward the proposal that the vulnerable elderly is identified and a register be created. There will be approximately 80-100 people on the register at any given time.
A meeting between HelpMadina and representatives of the town council resulted in the following proposals:
Health Care: Each person on the register will be entitled to free health care. This will include general medical health, long term conditions management and eye screening. The cost of all drugs will also be covered.
Each individual will need an ID card and an up to date register will be kept at the clinic.
Nutrition and lack of food: An initial 1 off gesture of ½ a bag of rice per person will be made. It is recognised that the actual requirement is ½ a bag per person per month. Cost restraints make this a difficult target to reach at present, but over a period of time and through sufficient sponsorship it is hoped to increase this to ½ a bag of rice every 3 months.
Poor level of clothing: Due to lack of money, the elderly vulnerable rely on cast off clothing which are often ill fitting and in a state of disrepair. This adds to their lack of dignity. HelpMadina has pledged to provide each individual on the register with cloth which will be made into clothing by a local tailor. The exact style and specification will be left to the individual. This process will be repeated annually.
Social isolation: Due to lack of family and peers, the vulnerable elderly are left in isolation. To try and address this problem HelpMadina has introduced a befriending service using the local secondary school. A number of volunteer students have been identified and with the permission of the individual, they will visit once or twice a month with the purpose of familiarisation and providing any simple assistance where required. It is hoped that through discussion, the students will be able to learn about the individual’s life story and history of the community. It is possible that this information could be compiled as a larger ‘book’.
Poor accommodation: Whilst it is recognised that the vulnerable elderly have poor housing, a more comprehensive assessment needs to be done before firm proposals are made.
The Madina Town Council must take on the responsibility of keeping the register accurate and up to date and ensuring that the criteria for registration are met at all times.
Health Care: 12,000L (£1.70) per person for registration at health clinic. This also covers drug costs. Eye screening is covered by the programme in place. If surgery is required, there is an additional cost of 5000L (75p) to cover the registration cost at Lunsar Eye Hospital.
Food: Rice 75000L (£10 per half bag)
Cothing: 12m Cloth 42000L, Tailoring Cost 40000L (Total £12)