Asociación Benéfica Geriátrica (ABG) is a non-profit organisation specialising in the care of the elderly in the Community of Madrid. It is formed by a team of social workers who offer advice and instruction on how to deal with the physical, psychological and sociological problems associated with old age and ageing. They provide this free service throughout the Community of Madrid.
For more than 20 years ABG has been helping the elderly and their families in their search for resources: elderly care homes, day centres, home help services, legal advice, geriatric adaptations, etc.They are also involved in social projects which aim to alleviate unwanted loneliness and improve the quality of life of the elderly.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ABG has been focusing its efforts on supporting their community of elderly people, especially the most vulnerable and those most severely affected. To this end they have offered free home search services and home help services to ensure that the elderly are properly cared for and kept safe. During Spain’s strict 3 month confinement, ABG also offered free telephone support to prevent loneliness and boredom. Thanks to the support of several influencers, journalists and well-known Spanish singers, ABG raised significant funds for the project ‘StopSoledad’ (Stop Loneliness) and ‘Abrazos solidarios’ (Solidarity Hugs) which were used to provide medical supplies to several elderly care centres in Madrid.
Spain’s strict 3 month lockdown (March to June 2020) has affected the elderly population both mentally and physically. While fear of going out remains high amongst the elderly and auxiliary services such as elderly day centres remain closed, thousands of elderly continue to spend long periods without leaving their homes. While significant resources have been directed to addressing loneliness, feelings of isolation and boredom amongst the elderly, initiatives to address the physical deterioration suffered due to the absence of exercise and movement have been limited.
The Scheinberg Relief Fund has worked hand-in-hand with ABG to develop its programme “By your side” to help combat the direct impact that COVID-19 has had on the physical health of the elderly population living independently in their own homes. The aim of the programme is to improve the physical well-being and maintain the autonomy of the elderly through effective treatment and prevention. During October to December 2020, 465 vulnerable elderly will receive free of charge weekly physiotherapy sessions in their homes to improve mobility and over 1,000 elderly will receive monthly podiatry sessions.