An unfortunate trend in certain rural areas is the youths’ exodus, all of which leave their home villages in the search of better job opportunities. Sadly, they leave behind their elders who are often alone and lacking adequate social and financial support, not to mention medical care.
In order to tackle this particular issue, the Order of Malta Lebanon launched a “daycare” program that is free of charge and crucial to the well being of these senior citizens. The program was first launched in Roum, Jezzine in 2004. Its aim was to reintegrate the elderly, helping them become more socially active members of their communities. Since then, 2 more Daycare Centers came into being. They have proven to be instrumental and have witnessed great success.
The goals of these Centers is to respond to the elderly’s basic rights:
1- to treat them as adults, with respect and dignity
2- to have them participate in a program which promotes positive attitudes and encourages them to learn
3- to involve them, as much as possible, in the programs’ planning and operation
4- to care for them in an atmosphere of sincere interest and concern, providing them with the required support and services
5- to treat them with the utmost confidentiality
The main objective of these Centers is to create a better environment for the elders, to help them live as independently as possible in the comfort of their own home.
It is in that spirit that a team of committed professionals offers them:
- the chance to step out of their isolation
- the feeling of belonging to one large family
- opportunities for social interactions with their peers
- a program of mental and physical stimulation
- meals and snacks with provisions for special dietary needs
- physiotherapy programs
- medical attention
- spiritual activities
- transportation to and from the Centers
- transportation for their daily grocery trips
As an addition to the 3 Daycare Centers, 7 Warm Homes for the elderly were created in order to offer senior citizens a place where they may gather, meet and share in pleasant times, two to three times a week.
The Day Care Centers for the Elderly are located in: Roum, Kefraya and Zouk.