Russian Church opens center for elderly and seriously ill in Samara

Samara, Russia, March 13, 2020

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There are already 17 people living in and being constantly cared for by 30 nurses at the Russian Church’s new center for the elderly and seriously ill in Samara, along the Volga River.

The center, created at the initiative of the Sisterhood of Sts. Elizabeth and Barbara, can accommodate up to 80 people, accepting for temporary or permanent residence those who have suffered strokes, heart attacks, or severe injuries, those with dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s, and those in need of palliative care, reports the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Services.

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The building for the new center, named the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica House of Mercy, was donated by the Samara Diocese.

“In the future, we’re going to open an inpatient hospital in the same building for elderly people with dementia who have working relatives and who cannot be left unattended,” says the project manager, Senior Sister of Charity of the Sts. Elizabeth and Barbara Sisterhood of Samara Olga Vasilieva.

“We also plan to implement a project to socialize women aged 18 to 45 with intellectual disabilities. We’re going to take them from a psychoneurological boarding school and teach them to cook and maintain a personal budget,” Sister Olga said.   

The Sisterhood currently consists of 82 sisters who also help patients in several hospitals in Samara and take care of bedridden patients at home.

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The center also plans to organize a project for assisted living for women with disabilities.

In total, there are more than 300 Sisterhoods of Mercy united in the Association of Sisterhoods of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are also more than 60 Church shelters and centers for care for the elderly and seriously ill.

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