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In 1996 a special group of social workers was established in Hesed. Now they come to the homes of potential clients of Hesed, evaluate their financial position and physical condition, and determine whether people satisfy the criteria described by the Claims Conference.
As for today, Kishinev is divided into three sectors, which are supervised by three social workers.
Without any overstatements, the Patronage or Homecare program is one of the crucial programs of Hesed Yehuda. Countless numbers of lonesome, abandoned, immobile elderly and old people have the possibility to receive help at home thanks to Hesed services. Visiting nurses come to the homes of their clients, clean their apartments, wash, iron, cook, go shopping, and do many other things.
Of the 2,050 clients of Hesed, 370 of them are engaged in patronage. 45 visiting nurses hold contracts and work under the supervision of the three social workers.
The Homecare program is being realized according to European standards. Visiting nurses change every three months. In accordance with the rules of organization, the same nurse cannot be with her client for the whole day. Therefore, those who need more help during the day are visited by different nurses.
The work of a visiting nurse is extremely hard. Besides the fact that taking care of bed-patients is not easy physically, it is also very difficult from an emotional standpoint.
Lidia has worked as a visiting nurse for several years. It might seem that she has seen a lot of human pain and suffering and could get used to it. Nevertheless, each visit to a new client feels like a shock for her. There are some things one can never get used to, no matter what the record of service or cumulative experience.
“At the beginning, I was just shocked,” says Lidia. “I met very different people. Mainly, lonesome or abandoned old people, many of them with children and grandchildren who don’t help or support. There was no place where I went for the first time and met a smile on someone’s face. That enormous amount of abandoned old people was just shocking for me.”
Besides the abovementioned services which visiting nurses provide for their clients, they do something else, what is crucially important for old people. In particular, they converse with their clients. No one who has the possibility of free movement can imagine just how terrible life in pure isolation is. No matter how busy the visiting nurses are, they always find several minutes to talk to their clients, to listen to their remembrances and stories, to interact with them.