Without receiving help, Alicia Zuniga, 99, would probably be sitting in a chair, looking out the window of a nursing home, away from her family and community. This poor, elderly woman, would has no way to pay her food or for a decent place to live. However, Zuniga is kept in the privacy and warmth of adequate housing, with her daughter Virginia Ramirez, who is responsible to bathe her, to cook for here and to even change her diaper.
I’d rather be at home where I can live with my daughter, “said the old woman.
This scenario is possible because the type of community care, driven by the Government, which promotes the care of older adults and to not move them.
“Before we had only alternative a nursing home or day center. The network enables us to support older adults so they can stay home with the help of the community or family, “said Minister of Welfare and Family, Fernando Marin.
This is the Progressive Care Network for Integral Care of the Elderly, a project that in 2011 3,528 people attended, without having to remove them from their homes.
The system uses as a platform for social welfare organizations with experience in caring for the elderly, as well as some municipalities.
Through these resources are channeled Development Fund Family Allowances (FODESAF), whose contributions for 2011 and 2012 were around ¢ 2,500 million annually. For 2013 will reach ¢ 5,000 million.
The organizations are responsible for coordinating with institutions like the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund (CCSS) and to promote the participation of relatives and neighbors.
“This is not to give houses to all, but you can arrange to meet their needs. The important thing is that the community help you decide how you will use the funds, “said Marin.
According to the executive director of the National Council for Older Persons (CONAPAM), Emiliana Rivera, the response has been more than favorable.
“In the communities we run into a lot of solidarity. In Pococí, for example, a volunteer network offered to do a group home where he attends to four gentlemen who were abandoned in the hospital, “said Rivera.
Elsewhere, residents cook for the elderly and spend time with them. Even local hardware store and offered to donate food and supplies.
To Zuniga and Ramirez, they were helped by neighboring Santo Domingo de Heredia, located outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. The aid reached them through Mary Foundation. They remodeled the house, give them a monthly allowance and delivers food.
Meanwhile, for Relief Abarca, 84, is to support the delivery of milk, diapers, the loan of a bed and improvements in your room. “At home I feel more confident. One was sent to a home and you’re … “he said.
Lourdes Sanchez, manager of the Mary Foundation, said that home care was already being done on a microscale. “This network came to give a great help because we could increase visits, pay attention to people at home and take care of their diet,” concluded Sanchez.