THE CARE WORKER’S STORY

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

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.”

(right)

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