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

Nov 19, 2010


Update March 14th 2011
Esther passed away on Sunday 13th March. We would like to thank her sponsor for making sure her final months were far more pleasant and allowed her to be far more cared for than she could have been without the support provided. We are so grateful that thanks to her sponsor  she was able to eat everyday, received medicine and medical care as needed and was able to pass away in as much comfort as possible. May she rest in peace

Update Feb 2011
Yesterday, along with her normal lunch, we gave Esther some vitamins and some more medication and checked in on her. She still has a lot of pain in her mouth, but at least she is receiving appropriate care and medication and the family who is now providing for her are looking after her attentively and we always see her in a comfortable looking sofa, rather than just her wheelchair, like in the other house she was living in.

Update Jan 2011
Thanks to generous donations from a sponsor Esther has been able to have another Dr consult and has a new supply of medication. She is now living with her son and his family and they are taking great care of her.

 *November 22, 2010 Update*

Ester had a great doctor's visit! She and the family are very excited to start her new medicines and exercises. We'll let you know how it goes! Also, we just got a tamale basket donation for Esther for the holidays! We're looking forward to bringing it to her and will be sure to post photos!

Esther and her daughter, Dora, at the Rancho
Grande Clinic before their appointment

Dr. Escobar, one of our most trusted doctors, examined Esther and gave her a prescription for a different pain medicine (not surprisingly, he said that the pain medicines that Esther had been taking were not good). Dr. Escobar also taught Esther and her family exercises that Esther can do to improve her general health and perhaps lift her spirits (exercises included sorting good beans from the bad with the kids--for dinner and hand exercise!). Aside from addressing her terrible pain, Dr. Escobar emphasized that Esther must be active. Both Esther and her daughter Dora were very excited about the visit, and Dora explained to the rest of the family all the exercises that Esther should be doing. We're hoping that the grandkids will help and that it can be made into a fun family activity! Esther's new pain medicine, Topamax (generic: Topiramato), costs $27.19 for a month supply (she is meant to take 25mg every night). This medicine is especially made to address neuropathy problems. Dr. Escobar wants to see Esther in a month, though, to make sure that the medicine is adequate, and so we are hoping to have the funds to take her back for this followup appointment around the 24th of December.

Thank you so much for your support. That alone has brought Esther and her family a lot of joy and hope. We are hoping for the best and will keep you posted on progress!

Esther with the cough medicine that Dr. Escobar also prescribed her. She has had a chronic cough. In addition to prescribing the cough medicine, Dr. Escobar taught Esther various exercises that she should do to increase circulation, improve lung and general health, and thus avoid such problems.

*November 20, 2010 Update* 
We just got a donation to get Esther quality medical attention. Thank you so much for your support.
Tomorrow morning we will be taking Esther to a private clinic for a thorough exam with one of our most trusted doctors. We are keeping our fingers crossed for better treatment for Esther's severe pain problems. We'll keep you posted on the results. Again, thank you!

Meet Esther

November 17, 2010 - It has been just over two weeks since we added Esther Velasquez Mota to our Elderly Care Program. Esther is a 78-year-old woman and was referred to us by community members who said she really needed help. She is a widow and lives with her daughter, grandson, and the grandson's wife and kids.

About one year ago, Esther fell, dislocated her hip, and fractured her leg and pelvis in three places. Since then she has been bound to her wheelchair and using diapers.

When we met her, Esther was crying in pain. Her family says that about 15 years ago Ester had a botched dental operation (a tooth removal) that damaged her nerves and left her with chronic pain. The poor woman is almost always in pain. When we arrived at her house the first time, the pain was so intense that she begged us for help. Ester takes pain medicine, but it is insufficient. The family cannot afford to get specialized medical attention for Esther to see if something better can be done about her pain. Please help us get her a proper check up in a private clinic to see if we can do something to alleviate her suffering. It would cost just $75 and could change her world tremendously. To make a donation, click here and enter "Elderly Care, Esther" in the Other section.

Esther with her granddaughter-in-law and
great-grandchildren. When we took these photos, Esther
was suffering a bad fit of pain.
Esther with her great grandson. On the day this
photo was taken, Esther's pain was more mild,
and so she got to better enjoy the company of
the children.

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