THE CARE WORKER’S STORY
TAMARA’S role has been funded by donations from British Jews. She says:
“I have been working as a home care worker for nine years and I love what I do. I look after four older people, each of whom has either physical or psychological issues.
“Perhaps the most surprising of the four is Mark. He’s only 67, but was bedridden for a long time. My job was to give him hope because he has too many “hang-ups”. He didn’t trust himself to walk outdoors until I met him. So step by step we started to walk. The first time we went outdoors, he was so emotional, saying: ‘Now I understand how Gagarin felt upon landing back on Earth’. Tamara with one of her clients
“He’s very shy, so by looking together at his school photos, I have brought him out of his shell. Mark spotted a classmate of his, Olia, in one photo, so I told him that I would try to find her. And I did. The first time she came round, I helped him to walk to greet her. The meeting was unforgettable. They hugged, reminiscing about their school time. He was very happy. Olia now comes to see him often and they sing songs from their school years.
“I like my job so much. I do my best to help them: I tell them the news and on Jewish holidays they tell me about their families’ celebrations in the past and nowadays. Even if they are frustrated or depressed, I talk to them to understand more. It’s often that they are just lonely, living without care. Being lonely causes them to lose their communication skills and destroys their memory. “I think that the most valuable thing I do for people is to help them to preserve their memories. They live entirely alone. I try to enrich their world.”