Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gowthami Old Folks Home

Out of every ten elderly couples in India, more than six are forced by their children to leave their homes. With no place to go, the elderly must resort to Old Age Homes--which do not guarantee first class treatment.

Life expectancy in India is 68 years. Gowthami Gevakarunya Sengam is home to 100 older men and women. Besides a variety of problems that come from old age, fifteen of the patrons also suffer with leprosy. 

This project was requested by the Rajahmundry District Presidency in July 2016 as a service project.

One of the major needs at this facility is the repair of their bathrooms. 

As it turned out, one bathroom is deteriorated beyond repair, but the other one is worth repairing. 

There are missing doors, showerheads that don't work, lights that need repaired, and several commodes that are broken and need to be replaced.

In addition, there is so little water pressure that showers do not work at all most of the time.

In February 2017, workers started building a tower on which to place a water tank to provide appropriate water pressure for showers.

Soon plumbing and electrical workers had new fixtures and lights installed.

And a new elevated water tank and pump was in place to provide the needed pressure to make the showers work.

New commodes were installed and floors, steps and smooth walkways were crafted so that unsure elderly feet could navigate to and from the facilities with surety.

New electrical boxes, switches and light fixtures replaced old power systems that long ago stopped carrying electricity.

Watching the work in progress, the residents began to take heart...

Meanwhile, members from the now Rajahmundry Stake Relief Society were busy assembling hygiene kits of toothpaste, toothbrush, face towel, shampoo, bath soap, shave cream, razors, deodorant, and talc. 

And finally the kits were ready to go!

We loaded up an Auto Rickshaw with boxes and boxes to the top!
And headed the short distance to the home of excited older folks...they knew we were coming with snacks, hygiene kits, some leprosy medicines and...young people to visit with them!!

There was plenty of help to offload the boxes!

Soon grateful smiles and "Thank you" for giving was underway all over the campus.

The faces of the young people tell the story...

Simple snacks that will last a few days...

Basic hygiene items that will last a few months...

Well appreciated.

Residents of the home came from far and wide!

A day to remember.

Two of the older men who helped with simple tasks during construction received new shoes...

They felt needed...

We were grateful for the help.

One older man needed a tri-point cane to navigate the uneven ground with better confidence!

A little reflective rest before leaving...

Wow! Carrying boxes on your head??

Who knew!

We left about a year's supply of topical medicines and bandages for the small group of 15 residents that are still dealing with the effects of leprosy at the home.

We each smiled as we saw our LDSC Logo attached to the new shower water tower in the rear view mirror on the way back home...Happy to Help!

Afterwards, we all had lunch at Eat 'n Play near our home and reflected on the day.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great thing. Wayne and I would already be out on our own which is a sad tale to tell about the elderly. It is amazing to me how frugal they must be as I have seen the size of those kits.