COVID-19: Kenyan Church supports home for the elderly

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing a challenge to well-wishers in Kenya who support homes for the elderly. They are facing difficulties accessing the institutions due to restrictions in place.

Rose Achiego – Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) last weekend donated foodstuff to Kariobangi Cheshire Home for the elderly in Nairobi.

The elderly need support

Kariobangi Cheshire Home, (Nyumba ya Wazee), is a residence for about 40 elderly men and women. It also has a daycare program for more than 300 aged persons who reside in the Nairobi’ slums.

Receiving the donation of different foods from the Bishops’ Conference, Cheshire Home Administrator Sister Lydia D’sa, a member of the Franciscan Missionary Sister of Africa appreciated the generosity.

Residency has 300 seniors in the daycare programme

Sr. D’sa said the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to the home as some well-wishers and Small Christian Communities that bring foodstuff and spend time with the aged are no longer able to do so due to restrictions. Similarly, the elderly on the daycare programme are now not able to interact with residents.

“Now they cannot come here. So, they come to the gate, stop there, wash their hands, and we give them provisions from the gate. But you can see the difference in them this month. There are four who are desperately sick and living alone. We decided to give them a hot meal and medical care, then we gave them some food to carry home,” explained Sr. D’sa.

Generosity greatly appreciated

Sr D’sa said the donation delivered had come-in handy as the residency emptied its stores on 1 May 2020. Any gift given to the home goes to the daycare programme, she said. This is because those in the home are well catered for already.

“The problem is that the (residents) are a little bored as they cannot go to Church nor receive visitors,” said Sr D’sa. Unfortunately, the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines also mean that the home is no longer able to take the mentally challenged to clinics in the city.