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.
The Scheinberg Relief Fund has worked hand-in-hand with ABG to develop its programme “By your side” to help combat the direct impact of COVID-19 on the physical health of the elderly population living independently in their own homes. The programme aims to maintain the autonomy and improve the physical well-being of the elderly through effective treatments and prevention delivered to them in their homes while usually services remained closed due to the pandemic.
The programme launched in October 2020. During the first three months 465 vulnerable elderly received free bi-weekly physiotherapy sessions to improve mobility, and over 1,000 elderly received a monthly podiatry session. In November 2020, an evaluation of the programme was completed. The feedback from participants (elderly beneficiaries and health care professionals) confirmed the programme was achieving its aims. Considering the results and the high level of need for support for vulnerable seniors during the pandemic, the Scheinberg Relief Fund provided funding to extend the programme until May 2021.