In Odessa, Not Alone Anymore: Lisa, 94

At 94, Lisa Kestelman of Odessa, Ukraine, would be alone in the world were it not for her Hesed homecare worker.

Never married and with no children, Lisa was two years into her studies at the Odessa Medical School when World War II broke out. She and her mother were quickly evacuated to Uzbekistan, and her father disappeared after being called to fight on the war’s front lines.

Hampered by complications from poliomyelitis since the age of 6, Lisa now lives by herself in a one-room apartment on a monthly income of less than $200. She struggles with heart disease, high blood pressure, cataracts, hearing loss, and a spinal injury.

JDC, with support from its global partners, helps Lisa by providing: 25 hours of homecare each week; a food card to help her purchase necessities; medications and medical consultation; and the goods she needs to help her survive Ukraine’s brutal winter.

In the midst of the complex crisis that currently envelops Ukraine, JDC has increased its support: Lisa’s homecare worker comes more frequently now and helps the frightened old woman process her country’s changing situation and receive the supplies she requires. 

For thousands of the most vulnerable Jewish elderly and at-risk children and families, we are providing the following:

   Additional food and medicine supplements and subsidies to ensure critical necessities are met

   Increased homecare worker hours for our most vulnerable elderly clients so they are not left alone

   Additional fuel needed to distribute food/essential products to housebound clients and transportation for homecare workers to/from the homes of the most isolated elderly Jews

   Additional first aid kits and fire extinguishers for all JDC-operated buildings

   Blankets and heaters for distribution in the event that fuel supplies are cut off

   Security upgrades to JDC-owned and operated buildings, including increased security guard hours

For the latest on our emergency response in Ukraine, visit our Ukraine Crisis Dashboard.

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