“She is like a mother to me, so she looks after me.” The life of abandoned old people live in a volunteer hospice near Mariupol
In the village of Demyanovka near Mariupol, Pastor Valery Timakov and like-minded people organized a hospice. Elderly people who have no support are brought here.
The main organizer of assistance to the disadvantaged is Valery Timakov, pastor of the Priazovsky rehabilitation monastery. He himself has health problems, so he travels on an electric scooter for people with disabilities.
“Our first person appeared in 2001: drug addicts were brought to us. They could neither talk nor walk. They were like vegetables, – says Valery. – And then I remembered about my mother: I didn’t give her a lot … ”
So, from the memories of my mother, the idea of helping elderly lonely people was born. At first they lived in our church. Then those who cared enough began to buy houses for them nearby, because the number of people was increasing all the time.
The farm at the monastery has a hundred ducks and 2 hectares of land: we grow wheat. But the old people who live here need not only to be fed, but also to be treated.
In the hospice, almost everyone is bedridden. Volunteers help to look after them, the most active of them is Anna Alexandrovich, a mother with many children.
One of those living at the monastery is Tatiana. The woman worked in the maternity ward for 40 years. In old age, she was left alone – all her close relatives died. Tatiana is bedridden. She reaches out to Anna, who is caring for her, and says through tears: “She is like a mother, to me, she takes care of me like that.”
Valentina also lives at the monastery – she has diabetes, and she has not seen anything for 10 years. The woman has two daughters, but one of them lives far away in Russia, and her second daughter is what they call “restricted to travel abroad.”
Men also live here, in a separate house. One of them tells how he got here: “I can’t walk any more. I divorced my wife, and my sister doesn’t need me”.
Another, Alexander, has been in this hospice for five years. Once in Mariupol he worked in shipping. “I chased after money and lost everything that was on the shore,” says Alexander about himself. – All my life has gone into revelry.
Igor is looking after the men. He works at the church and is grateful to Pastor Valery, who helped him to build a new life after his imprisonment. “I was released in 2013 and now I take care of people. And I love it! ” – Igor shares.
Everything that is equipped in the hospice, the people living and working there have done with their own hands. Their life is meager, much is missing. For example, they need an indoor wheelchair, because the street wheelchair does not go through the doorway and the elderly people have to carry it to the bathroom in their arms. They need a water heater, and there is always a lack of household chemicals.