ZDUS volunteers keep mobilizing against COVID-19 in Slovenia
Members of DU Ostrožno, are sewing again in a home workshop
The Slovenian Federation of Pensioners' Associations, ZDUS, is taking action to assist older persons during the pandemic, in particular those living alone or in need of assistance or care.
The organisation participated in government proposals for crisis allowance for seniors and supported the efforts of the Community of Social Institutions (association of nursing homes) to improve the situation in the residential care homes where the number of persons with COVID-19 is high. ZDUS also supports the protests of its members against some discriminatory measures for older people in confinement, as for example a measure allowing older persons limited access to the shopping centers (from 8h to 10h and one hour before closing).
Old and young unite against COVID-19
Furthermore the Slovenian senior organisation also adapted its existing ‘Seniors help Seniors’ programme and provided information on assistance needed to other organisations and authorities, with the aim that younger volunteers can help older people who are now isolated at home, including ZDUS’ older volunteers.
The purpose of the program is to help older persons stay in their home environment for as long as possible with organized appropriate support. The program includes just over 193,000 seniors, users, and is run by 276 associations of pensioners with the help of 3,500 volunteers.
Older people enrolled in the program receive assistance or one or more types of services: delivery of prepared food, the delivery of groceries, assistance with housework, assistance with transportation, monitoring of walks and maintaining telephone contacts. Assistance needs also include the delivery of humanitarian packages. The program coordinators prepare data on users who live alone, and respectively, they will need help. In this time of pandemic, the delivery of humanitarian packages, food, medicines and other necessary assistance has been taken over by younger volunteers, while ZDUS senior volunteers keep them informed of those who still need help.
Physical visits to older people have been replaced by contacts over the phone several times a week.
In addition to this, many co-ordinators and volunteers have started producing protective masks. Initially for its own use, but soon for other people who most need them. Many masks were provided to Civil Protection representatives to be handed over to older persons when they would visit them at home.
More information on ZDUS action can be found in ZDUS' April newsletter (in Slovenian)
Link to ZDUS Facabook page