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

May 17, 2011

Medical Emergency: Dolores Suffering Convulsions

Dolores is one of the newest additions to our Panajachel elderly care program--she was set to recieve her first meals this week, but unfortunately she hasn't been home to get them, because she has been in the hospital.  Dolores, who is diabetic, was sick last week with what seemed like the flu.  Her daugher, Isabel, brought her to the doctor, who gave her a syrup that he said should make her feel better.  Unfortunately, however, the syrup was sugary, and after two days, Dolores began convulsing, possibly because of high blood sugar.  Isabel rushed her mother to the hospital, where they did little more than give her IV fluids.  After two days in the hospital, with the convulsions continuing, Isabel did not feel that they were caring for her mother, so she broght her home.  Right now, Dolores is in her single room in Pana, and she is suffering from convulsions about every five minutes.  The convulsions themselves last several minutes, and Dolores is spending almost as much time shaking as not.  In between bouts, though, her mind is clear and she is able to speak. 

Dolores clearly needs more attention than the doctors in the public hospital were willing to give her, but Isabel can't afford to take her to a private clinic.  It will cost about $75 to get Dolores to a private doctor and begin treatment.  If you would like to help her get the care that she needs, please go to Donate Now, and enter your donation in the "Other" box.  In the "Details," write "A70 Medical".  Thank you!

Dolores lives in Panajachel with her husband, who also suffers from medical problems.  They live in a single room next to Isabel and her children (ages 22, 20 and 17).  Isabel and her siblings all chip in to pay the modest rent for their parents' room, but even that is a stretch.  Isabel's two sons, Antonio and Alberto, are studying, but both work taking gravel out of the river--a very difficult job, with low and uncertain pay--in order to support the family.  Her daughter Josefina, 17, is studying full time (Antonio and Josefina have scholarships through another organization).  Isabel does what she can to care for her parents, but with the rainy season coming, it is likely that the boys won't be able to mine gravel for a few months, leaving the family without an income.  Any help that you can give them as they try to care for Dolores would be very much appreciated.

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