My name is Julian Moritz and I am doing my voluntary social year at the “German Elderly Care Bucharest” in Romania.
My main task is to help old people that still live in their own place.
Some of them get “Essen auf Rädern” (meal on wheels), others receive a food package once a month and I supply others with wood for winter. Often, the most important thing for these people is that I visit them, that I take some time in order to be there and listen to them, because many of them barely have any friends or family.
In that last weeks however, my work routine has started to totter. One of the ladies, Mrs. Hanschke, to whom I regularly bring ”Essen auf Rädern” (meal on wheels), was taken away her social assistance (a younger woman, who paid no rent, but who took care of Mrs. Hanschke and her house.). In the last weeks I realized what this young lady has done and how needy Mrs. Hanschke is.
When I bring her the food, I have to wait for several minutes, until she manages to come to the door. Then I squeeze in through the barely opened door, to find Mrs. Hanschke behind the door on the ground, kneeling. I help her get up and I accompany her back to bed. She looks completely helpless.
Often she asks me, whether I can feel a very strong smell in the apartment, asks me to throw into the toilet the content of a bucket covered with a newspaper; and all of these because she cannot manage alone anymore. She thanks me every time more than once and each time she is very close to tears. For her, small gestures like bringing a bowl with water and soap, so that she can wash herself, mean so much. Furthermore, she asks me, what should she do and if I do not understand that in such circumstances she doesn’t want to live anymore.
I feel incredibly sorry each time I have to leave, especially when I know that I have helped her with just the basic things like buying her water and bread or taking the garbage away. I can see how she tries to live a dignified life, but her own forces are not enough anymore.
I want Mrs. Hanschke to have the quality of life she deserves and I am doing my best to make this possible. But I am aware of the fact that this is not enough.
In my opinion the best solution for Mrs. Hanschke would be to get a place in a nursing home, where she will get the needed help, especially when all the efforts of taking care will be handled by more than one person.
Adequate nursing home costs about 1,500 RON per month, but Mrs. Handshake’s pension is somewhere around 1,100 RON, which is already quite high for Romania. This means that there is a monthly gap of 400 RON (around 100 EURO).
The “Elderly Care” has encountered some problems in sustaining all costs and thus cannot offer additional financial support for this.
I have also been thinking of asking family and friends for donations, or even contribute with something myself. The problem is that there are monthly costs. What will happen in some months, when no one remembers or cannot or will not be able to give a donation?
Because of this I have written this letter.
I hope, that perhaps one or more regular sponsors can be found, who are willing to help Mrs. Hanschke with a monthly support, offering her a decent life.
I would be very happy, to end in August my voluntary social year knowing that Mrs. Hanschke is taken care of.