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The gestures of friendship

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The gestures of friendship

The elderly reached by assistance at home is 7,000 in Italy, 2,000 in Europe (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia), 1,000 in Latin America (Guatemala, Salvador, Argentina) and North America where the Sant’Egidio Community has been instituted only recently. More than half of these elderly are over 75 years old; 2/3 live alone. Those who are more fragile are those whose risk of institutionalisation either on a short term or long term basis is higher. More than a third of the elderly are not self-sufficient or are partially so. Disease, invalidity, other difficulties are reasons to multiply efforts as well as companionship so that the elderly can stay home. It is indeed possible to assist the elderly when he lives through physical deterioration, disease, the loss of self-sufficiency. It is clear that this means above above all intervening to respond to his fundamental needs, those that are tied to his survival. The care of the elderly person is a priority concern as well as the monitoring of his health. Attention to health is aimed at preventing invalidity and the lack of self-sufficiency, at making sure that the disease does not become worst, at promoting a physical – psychological and social well-being of the elderly. To this aim we carry out the following tasks:

Measure the blood pressure, cardiac frequency, body temperature.


Control glycemia.

Control and apply various therapies.

Control the daily diet.

Prevent bed soars.

Make sure that the limbs are correctly placed and have their correct function for those who are bed-ridden.

Motivate to mobility those who are bed-ridden.

Assure personal hygiene and physical care.

Assist daily activity (dress; get up from bed; cook; etc.);

Accompany at specialist medical visits.

Contact the general practitioner and other doctors.

Assure minimal first aid.

Assist in hospital care when admitted.

 Other tasks:


Look after the household (cleaning, small maintenance, food shopping, etc.)

Help in administrative matters.

Accompaniment to pick up the social security.

Help contacts with friends, neighbours and relatives.

Sustain family members.

The willingness to live is decisive for the elderly. E' ben documentato anche It has been proven also by scientific literature that the “erosive suicide” exists, in other words letting oneself die slowly in absence of valid reasons to live. One can not forget those that seem to be secondary needs, but on the contrary can have an impact on the actual survival. Social relations, occupying oneself, culture, work, faith, are fundamental dimensions which are important for everyone, but especially when one is old they can determine the dignity or the lack of dignity of one’s existence, the desire to live or to let oneself die. The action we take is the following:

Support the life of faith.


Support social and family life.


Lunches and dinners out.


Meetings, conferences.

Theatrical performances.

Occupational activities.

Summer holidays.

The Aged

July 5 2016

The 'thrown away' elders of Mozambique on a pilgrimage, from loneliness to the mercy of the Jubilee

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June 27 2016

In Pemba, a people of the poor and sick goes through the Holy Door with the Community of Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT
June 20 2016

Prague: Elderly people finally out of nursing homes for the Jubilee of Mercy with Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | HU
May 18 2016

Africa: Jubilee of Mercy with the elderly in Ivory Coast

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | RU
April 23 2016

Sant'Egidio opens the House of Mercy for the elderly in Blantyre

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA
April 19 2016

Finding love in an unexpected place: the life of Mae and her friendship with Sant'Egidio

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October 17 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Quella "cultura dello scarto" simbolo della nostra crisi

October 14 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Sant'Egidio. Giubileo degli anziani al Santo

September 3 2016
La Repubblica - Ed. Genova

In campo anche i liceali volontari a Sant'Egidio

August 4 2016
Corriere di Novara

Emergenza caldo: oltre 3.000 anziani monitorati dalla Comunità di Sant'Egidio

July 19 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Gli anziani possono morire di solitudine

July 17 2016

Nei Quartieri Spagnoli da nipoti con gli anziani

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October 17 2016 | PADUA, ITALY

Giubileo degli anziani e dei malati con la Comunità di Sant'Egidio

All meetings of prayer for peace

Intervento di Irma, anziana romana, durante la visita di papa Francesco a Sant'Egidio

Programma della Campagna della Cortesia verso gli anziani "Vive les Ainés"

Scheda sintetica del programma "W gli anziani"

Giovani e anziani per un estate di solidarietà 2013

Programma "W gli anziani": attività con gli anziani a Roma nel luglio e agosto 2013

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La fuerza de los años

Ediciones Sígueme
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