On my visit to Denham Town in 2015 we went to see an elderly home that had just been renovated in 2013. I could barely keep my jaw from dropping while walking through this facility. Golden Age has horrific conditions to put anyone in, let alone an elderly resident. Let me paint the picture for you....
The bungalows that the residents live in smell from a mile away, you feel like you're breathing in feces as you approach the door. The ground is cold cement stained with urine and stool. There is a metal frame twin size bed with a 1/2-inch-thick mattress type blanket protecting the residents old, fragile skin from being torn apart by these metal springs. Destroyed blankets or sheets, and some rooms didn't even have pillows. The residents have nothing else in the rooms besides four colorful walls and a rickety bed. There were no shelves for books, no pictures of family, no music, broken fans, nothing to make them feel at home or welcomed or loved in their last days of life.
The main common area has benches and tables where the residents gather to eat, but upon visiting the kitchen we discovered there was not much food to be eaten. The shelves were basically empty; the kitchen was lacking proper cooking utensils and it seemed like the residents ate rice and beans once a day...maybe twice.
We visited Golden Age Retirement home in hopes of spending time with residents and cheering them up. What we found made it hard to even fake a smile. Especially for me. I work for an amazing company in the U.S. called Residential Assisted Living Academy. We teach real estate investors how to create beautiful, upscale assisted living homes for the elderly. Our homes have beautiful decorations, private chefs to cook whatever the residents desire, they have entertainment including pet therapy, music, senior yoga, the list goes on. We provide the best for our residents in the last days of their life.
The realization of the difference between this assisted living home and our assisted living homes was scarring. How could I go back home and continue teaching people how to serve others and create these amazing properties and not help these beautiful residents in Jamaica?!
For two years, Golden Age home in Denham Town has been on my heart and mind. I cannot let the smells, the images and the neglected humans of this community out of my mind.
When the tour was ending, we went into the facility administrator’s office and she broke down in tears, she admitted that the facility was in desperate need of help. She needs medicine and food for the residents desperately. She would love to be able to provide them with better bedding and more materials to make it feel more home like. Most of these residents don't have anyone coming to visit, so music and games and any form of entertainment is a welcomed treat. She needed all the help she could get, she explained how the government controls how much money they receive to treat the residents and it's just not enough to cover all the needs.
If I wasn't broken enough from this experience, I started to hear music... someone from our group started singing and all the elderly residents gathered in the dining room joined in. Even though they are in one of the worst conditions I have ever experienced, they were rejoicing and praising and singing their hearts out. The voices filled the air and my heart was certain that this place needs us.
It needs people who are willing to share their own resources for the benefit of someone else.
It needs people who are willing to open their hearts and wallets and donate towards an amazing cause.
These residents might not have many more years to live, they might not have anyone to come visit them and say hello or give them a hug, but what they will have is the resources they deserve and need. I am doing all I can to create this campaign for a greater purposes and cause. I want you to join me in this pursuit of blessing the elderly community of Denham Town in their last days. Any donation counts. Every bit will help.
The plan: collect $10,000 of donations, purchase good and materials to be shipped over to Denham Town, visit the facility and bless them with the donations and a massive financial contribution for foods and medicines.
Help me bless Denham Town's elderly community.
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