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, 2011

Medical Help for Our Elderly!

We are so happy to report that we have a new doctor volunteering with our Elderly Care Program!  Thanks to this doctor, we are able to visit our elderly every week and give them a general examination.  The doctor brings along some basic equipment and talks with each elderly person about his/her pain and ailments.  It has been a wonderful gift to be able to go into the homes of our elderly and give an overall medical assessment.  From these visits, we then try to procure the proper medicines for each of them, or we run more tests, etc.

However, we are not just assessing physical health, but the doctor is also focusing on the elderly's community activities and their ability to leave their house and engage in social opportunities.  As you all know, it is important not to only be physically healthy, but to also have a dignified sense of purpose and relationships.  We are trying to assess all of these aspects of each of our elderly.  It is a big undertaking, but we believe that each person deserves the time and effort so that we can try to create opportunities for better health and better communities.

Here are a few pictures of our recent visits:

If you would like to help our elderly, please donate to this important program.  Please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "Elderly Care Program".  Many of our participants are bed-ridden and are dependent on the warm, nutritious meal that we bring to them every day.  We are committed to letting each of our elderly know that there are people who still care for them and we are trying to give them comfort and joy in their final years.  Thank you so much for being part of this valuable endeavor!

Sep 22, 2011

Our elderly need your help

The weather is getting cooler here in Guatemala, and those who are living in delapidated houses are feeling these cooler temperatures the most.  As a result, we have many needs among our elderly.  If you would like to give a general donation to our Elderly Care Program, please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "Elderly  Care Program".

Or if you would like to donate to a specific elderly person in our program, please read below to learn of some our most recent needs:
Juana Tereta is getting more and more weak, she cannot sit up in bed anymore.  She is losing weight and doesn't have much of an appetite.  Because it is difficult for her to eat, we'd like to buy her a supply of Ensure milk.  This will help give her vitamins and minerals and hopefully strengthen her.  We'd like to give her a large supply of Ensure which costs $31.  If you'd like to make a one-time donation for Juana, please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "A73 Medical".

Manuel and Miguel are very sweet brothers who have been in our program for a while.  Thanks to your donations, their niece is able to take care of them every day.  However, with the colder weather coming, they are in need of two blankets that cost $50.  They also need more nutritious food.  To give them a large supple of Ensure costs $62, and to feed them warm soups and atole (a nutritious Guatemalan form of oatmeal) will cost $35.  The cost to provide warmth and food for these brothers is $147 total.   If you'd like to make a one-time donation, please go to Donate Now, and scroll down. Enter your donation in the "Other $" box. In the "Details" box, write "A24 Medical" to donate to Miguel or "A25 Medical" to donate to Manuel.

Santiago cannot get out of bed alone, so he lays in bed almost all day every day.  However, his bed consists of a frame and thin straw mat.  Santiago's body is aging and he is often in pain.  He is in desperate need of a mattress so that he can lay in bed and at least have a few moments free from pain.  To give him a mattress costs $45.  Also, as the weather is getting colder, Santiago needs a blanket which costs $25.  We'd like to give him a supply of Ensure so that he receives proper nutrients, which costs $31.  To give Santiago all of these necessities costs $101 total.   If you'd like to make a one-time donation for Santiago, please go to Donate Now, and scroll down. Enter your donation in the "Other $" box. In the "Details" box, write "A75 Medical".

Thank you so much for caring for our elderly!  We strive to give them dignity and comfort as they age, and we can't do it without your help!

If you have any questions, email us at familyaid@mayanfamilies.org

Sep 13, 2011

The passing of Oscar

We are sorry to report that Oscar, who was in our Elderly Care Program, has passed away.  Thanks to your generosity, Oscar was able to live a better life in his last days.  We're sad that he has passed, but are grateful for the opportunity to have helped him and be part of his life.

Sep 7, 2011

Dolores needs help paying for her medicine

Update September 2011

Dolores is part of our Elderly Care Program and has been having problems for a while with convulsions and trembling. She and her family are very poor and Dolores' trembling has gotten so bad that she's unable to get out of bed or leave her one-bedroom home. Thanks to your financial support, she has seen the doctor and has been prescribed an effective treatment. However, she and her family cannot afford the medicine.  If Dolores can take her medicine regularly, the convulsions should get better so that she can function normally. Her medicine costs $55 each month.
If you would like to help pay for Dolores' medicine, please go to Donate Now, and enter your donation in the "Other" box.  In the "Details" box, write "A70 Medical".

Or you can donate monthly to ensure Dolores can maintain her treatment. Go to Donate Monthly and enter your donation in the "Other Program" box. Under "description" write "A70 medical" and write how much you'd like to donate per month.

Thank you! If you have any questions, please send an email to familyaid@mayanfamilies.org 

Original Post

Dolores is one of the newest additions to our Panajachel elderly care program--she was set to receive 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 daughter, 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 brought 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.

Domingo needs medicine

Update September 2011

Domingo came to us yesterday because he has developed a chronic eye problem. He needs special medication, but cannot afford it himself. He and his family are part of our Family Aid Program and have experienced some terrible tragedies due to their poverty (see the original post below). Domingo's medicine costs $20 per month. We're looking for someone to sponsor Domingo and pay for his medicine each month so that his eyesight will improve and he can be more self-sufficient.
To help Domingo and pay for his medication, Donate Monthly and enter your donation in the "Other Program" box.  Under "Description" write "A71 medical" and write how much you'd like to donate per month.

Or if you'd like to make a one-time donation, Donate Here and enter your donation in the "Other" box near the bottom. Under "Details" write "A71 medical." Thank you so much!

If you have any questions, please send an email to familyaid@mayanfamilies.org

Original Post

Domingo Lopez Ahu is in his 80s, and his health has been deteriorating for some time.  The last time he saw a doctor, at the public hospital in Sololá, doctors told him that he had only one functioning kidney, and that his prostate required surgery, but he was not strong enough to have the operation.  They sent him home without medication.  That was two years ago.  Today, he is mostly bedridden, and he suffers from fainting spells if he gets up.  He has had no medical treatment at all since, and suffers from pain without the help of any medication. 

We heard about Domingo’s condition through his grandson, Marco, who came to Mayan Families because of another medical emergency—his wife had been the victim of malpractice.  Sadly, though we were able to ensure that she had quality care, Marco’s wife passed away.  This tragedy came just 6 months after the untimely death of Marco’s younger brother.  This has been a disastrous year for Domingo’s family, many of whom live together in the same home as Domingo.  Medical bills have left Marco over 50,000 Quetzales in debt, and put a heavy strain on the family’s finances.  They don’t have the money to take Domingo to a doctor.  The family knows that there isn’t much they can do, but it hurts them to see him in pain, and they would like to get Domingo some type of pain medication to make him more comfortable. 

Because of Domingo’s age and existing health problems, it will require a visit to the doctor to determine what medication is appropriate.  We need just $45 to send Don Domingo to a trustworthy doctor who can help his family determine how best to care for him.

To help Domingo’s family take him to the doctor, go to Donate Now, and enter your donation in the "Other" box.  Under "Description," write "A71 medical."  Thank you!