Watching a group of women take care of the elderly at Nakuru Alms House, one may think they are Nakuru County employees.
However, the volunteers from Rafa Home-based Care Centre in Nakuru Town are out to ensure that senior citizens at Nakuru Alms House are comfortable.
Led by Ms Grace Wanjiku, the women are equipped with basic nursing skills on how to handle the elderly and the disabled.
“Many elderly people undergo many challenges and are unable to feed themselves, bathe and dress and that is why we come to Alms House to help them,” said Ms Wanjiku.
Ms Wanjiku said they realised that many elderly people in Nakuru County are neglected and are suffering at home.
“Here at Alms House, we serve about 12 elderly people but our visits to several homesteads in both urban and rural areas revealed that many senior citizens have been neglected and are suffering,” she said.
Ms Wanjiku said they established that many elderly people were lonely and some of them prepared food in poorly ventilated kitchens.
“Some of them are too old to wake up in the morning and go outside to bask in the sun. We visit the homes and help them,” said Ms Wanjiku.
She commended the county government for setting aside Sh13 million to upgrade the Alms House.
However, she said the facility’s compound was too small and the elderly had no space to exercise.
“They also need a small clinic to manage old age ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and a nutritionist who would advise on appropriate diet. They cannot continue taking drugs which could affect key organs such as liver, lungs and heart,” said Ms Wanjiku.
Ms Hilda Awuor, a volunteer at Nakuru Alms House since January 2019 said she enjoys her work.
“They tell me interesting stories, their well told stories with many life lessons cannot be found in any story books,” said Ms Awuor.
Ms Lorna Wanjiru Paul, 26, says she is passionate about taking care of the elderly.
“Many have been rejected by their families and when you show them love, they feel at home away from their homes and that is the joy they need every day,” said Ms Paul.
Mr Daniel Billy Oketch who has eye problems said that his eye sight was fading but since he arrived at the Alms House two years ago, he was taken to hospital and is slowly recovering.
“I am now much better than when I came Alms House. I have been taken to hospital for treatment,” said Mr Okello.