Elderly Info

The food crisis in Guatemala is having a devastating effect on the elderly. Without enough to eat, many older people are becoming weak and malnourished, leaving them more vulnerable to illnesses that they cannot afford medical care for. They are unable to provide for even their most basic needs. In many cases, family members are unable to help as they struggle to feed themselves and their own children, leaving the elderly without any form of support and often living in heartbreaking conditions.

Please help us bring them the life-sustaining food and medical care that they so desperately need. General donations are used to ensure that we always have an adequate supply of food, medicine, and funds for meals, necessary medical treatment, and transportation. Monthly sponsorship would help feed one person, once a day for five days a week. Via blog and web album, we'll show you exactly where your aid is going and help you get to know the men and women whose lives you are changing.

If you would like to sponsor an elderly person for $35 a month, please click here and write "monthly sponsorship'' in the Other box. To make a one-time donation for medicine, rent, or other costs, please click here and enter "Elderly Care Program" in the Other box. Any questions can be directed to Amy at amy@mayanfamilies.org

Media on Mayan Families Elderly

Ancianos : Megan Gette + photos by Rob Bain, Nisa East, Rhett Hammerton and Hiroko Tanaka

Mayan Families- Ancianos Stories : Nisa East

Mayan Families Elderly Feeding Care Program : Rhett Hammerton

Facing Hunger: Elderly in Rural Guatemala

Sep 26, 2010

After His Stroke, Tereso Needs Medicine

                             *Feb 2011*
Tereso still suffers from  dizziness and headaches, but he is doing quite well. We gave him his medication and vitamins yesterday and he was very grateful. Thank you so much to the donor who is providing Tereso with this important medication to help with his blood pressure!!

* December 3, 2010 Update *
We have received a donation for four months of Tereso's medications! Thank you so much for your support. To make an additional contribution towards Tereso's medicine needs, which cost $25/month, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso medicine" in the Other box.

Tereso's doctor also recommended that Tereso begin physical therapy sessions in order to recover use of the body parts he lost partial access to after his stroke. Each physical therapy session for Tereso would cost just $5, including transportation. We would love to get him started--One or two sessions a week would be ideal. To make a monthly contribution towards Tereso's physical therapy needs, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso physical therapy" in the Other Program section. From Tereso and Mayan Families, thank you so much!

* November 26, 2010 Update * 
Tereso is about to run out of the new medication that has helped him so much.  
Tereso is looking better than ever now that he
is on medication! Unfortunately, however, it is
going to run out this week, and so his
convulsions and dizzy spells will likely return.
Tereso has had recently enjoyed huge improvments to his life--a comfortable new bed, and a visit to a good doctor who prescribed him medicine that has helped him tremendously. As you can see in the photo, Tereso looks like a new man! He is stronger and happier with his new medicines, and his symptoms are finally under control.

But in less than a week Tereso will run out of the medicine that has made such a great difference for him. Unfortunately we do not have the funds to buy Tereso these anticonvulsion, pro-circulation, and pain medicines that he relies on--They cost $25 a month.

Without his medicine, Tereso suffers from convulsions, dizzy spells, and severe headaches. Often the symptoms are so bad that Tereso cannot walk or even get off his chair, and sometimes the dizzy spells are so intense that he just falls off of his chair from seated position. His inability to function normally when he is off of medicination also distresses Tereso emotionally.

Please help us prevent Tereso from going back to an unhealthy, painful state. To support Tereso's medical needs with a monthly donation, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso" under Other Program. Any amount donation would be a great help. To make a one-time donation towards Tereso's medical needs, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso" in the Other section. Thank you so much.

Tereso receiving some sock donations, and laughing as he struggles to untangle them!

*November 12, 2010 Update* 
We just delivered Tereso's new bed and mattress! He is so happy and grateful.
This is such a great comfort for Tereso. He and Mayan Families send out their deepest thanks to his supporters.
*October 28, 2010 Update* 
We have gotten a donation to buy Tereso a bed and mattress, as well as 2 blankets and 2 months of his medications!
Tereso had such a wide smile when he heard the news! We'll be delivering the bed, mattress, and blankets on Friday, November 12th. Thank you so very much for your support. We'll be sure to take photos on the big day.
Meet Tereso Cojon

Tereso Cojón will be 73 on October 15th. He has four grown children and 19 grandchildren.  Recently, after it became evident that Tereso was too feeble to live independently in the (empty, bare, and waterless) cinderblock home that he owned, Tereso moved to live in a house with several of his children and grandchildren. Though his children help him as much as they can, they are all struggling to feed their own families, so their support is limited to hosting him and sometimes bringing him a little bit to eat.

Tereso never went to school, so he cannot read or write, and he speaks very little Spanish (he speaks Kakchiquel).  A stroke four years ago left him without much use of his left arm and knee and suffering from “bad nerves,” making it very difficult for him to work and provide for himself.

Receiving a warm lunch from
Mayan Families
Since the stroke, Tereso tried repeatedly to seek medical treatment for his conditions, which include knee pain and arthritis, chronic headaches, shaking, and dangerous dizzy spells. For years, he suffered visibly--from the physical pain and, even worse, from the sorrow he felt in being unable to function normally because of his dizziness and convulsions. However, doctors at the local clinic constantly turned him away, saying that they cannot help these symptoms of aging.
Tereso was so grateful when Mayan Families staff took him to see a private doctor last Saturday (10/16) and Tuesday (10/19). The doctor prescribed for him the anti-convulsion and pain medicines and he suffered so terribly without, and Tereso has been doing remarkably better with the medicine. (*For details on his medication, see the bottom of this post.) Every day since he started taking his medicines, Tereso has been greeting us with a wide smile and repeated thanks. It has brought us a great amount of joy to see the change in him. 

We have bought Tereso approximately a month's supply of medicine for $15, but we are going to need help once the month's medicine runs out. Unfortunately, without our help (since he cannot work, and since his family cannot sufficiently support him), Tereso will not be able to afford the medicine that he badly needs.  Your support would make a wonderful impact on Tereso's quality of life by helping to afford him the medicine that he suffers so badly without. To sponsor Tereso with a monthly donation, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso" under Other Program.

Tereso by his current bed, covered by
a blanket donated by Mayan Families
Tereso currently has a low bed with a very old, uncomfortable spring mattress unsuitable for a person of his age and condition. Because of his bad knees and dizzy spells, it is difficult and dangerous for Tereso to get in and out of this low bed. A wonderful one-time gift for him would be a single bed and mattress, which costs $170. To give Tereso the gift of a new bed, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Tereso's bed" in the Other box. Thank you so much!

* Tereso has been prescribed 80mg daily of Ginbilam (Ginkgo Biloba) and Meloxican for pain.

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