The Nursing Home Association is in its 29th year of operation. It is impressive that three decades after its creation, the needs it came to serve, not only persist, but expand. One would expect a public system of home care to have gradually built up for people who need hospitalization. On the contrary. The initiative in Syros was taken in 1995 by ordinary people who cared and since then, many others have worked for the development of the club.
A few facts, by way of introduction:
What does the club offer?
Nursing services at home, for patients who have a relevant prescription or instruction from a doctor. Example: a patient who is discharged from the hospital where he was hospitalized and must for a period of time continue treatment at home, with injections or other type of hospitalization. Other: a person who needs regular or continuous hospitalization: changes in trauma, blood tests, blood pressure measurements and other vital elements, personal hygiene, etc. In other words, the nursing operations can be provided for the specific period defined by the doctor or on a permanent basis, indefinitely. For 365 days a year (Sundays, holidays…) free of charge. Always – and only – free.
What the club cannot offer
Before answering the question, a clarification: The nurses of our association visit many residences every day, with a strictly defined schedule drawn up on a weekly basis. Below we will give exact data, but in any case the visits are usually more than 15 per day. All over Syros, with a club vehicle. With the time burden incurred for going from point to point and parking, which is often not possible close to the residence. Thus, the net time per visit does not exceed an average of fifteen to twenty minutes. Of course, sometimes, circumstances force the nurse to stay by the patient’s side longer. But it is not the rule.
Therefore, by its very nature, our club cannot serve people who need a long-term nurse by their side, on a permanent basis. It also cannot cover emergencies. If, for example, a patient suddenly feels unwell or in general needs immediate medical attention, he must call a doctor or an ambulance. Our nurses will be in a residence, possibly far away, and waiting for an emergency, which requires a doctor anyway, can have consequences.
What else does the club offer?
An activity that we have developed a lot recently is the lending of nursing equipment: beds, wheelchairs, walking aids, mattresses and much more. After use, however long it lasts, they are returned to the club, refreshed and repaired by the volunteer Mr. Panagiotis Tzanavaris and re-borrow. Therefore, any family that has such equipment and no longer needs it, please donate it to our club. Material supplies from our hospital have been important so far. Those who need equipment, please contact us to check availability.
What are the club’s finances?
In general, in recent years, the annual operating costs have been close to €60,000. It is primarily due to payroll/insurance costs for two full-time and one part-time nurses. For the rest, in the running and maintenance costs of our two vehicles and in the supply of hospital consumables.
One tenth of our club’s income comes from membership fees, which are set at just €10 a year. The support from the local community, by registering more members (currently, the financially aware members are about five hundred) is of great value to us. Ideally, every family on the island should have a member in the club — and that’s what we urge all our fellow citizens to do: sign up.
According to nine tenths, the income comes from donations and actions, such as recently the concert of the “Cavafi” Group at the Apollon theater, the theatrical performance “Mandragoras” by the “Ataka” group or the sale of our annual calendar. Also, from small grants from public bodies.
Of all the above, donations are the main pillar of the association. They are usually done in memory of a loved one or for no reason at all. It goes without saying that our members and the people who benefit are grateful to every fellow citizen who decides to donate any amount. However, this is an opportunity to refer to the extraordinary donation of Ms. Despina Paraskevaidou who last July contributed €10,000, the largest private donation we have had during the current term. Also very important are the donations of the Martinou (€5,000) and Moraiti (€10,000) foundations, which are regular.
Thanks to the support of all of you, the guidance of the board members and the excellent work of our nurses, the club has succeeded in increasing the home visits of our sick fellow citizens by 53.5% in 2023 (to date) compared to 2021. This is an increase unprecedented amounting to more than 5,200 home visits per year! The full balancing of expenses – income was also achieved in the current two years.
And, left for last, the most important.
How do you ask for the club’s help?
In three ways: call 2281085233 (Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). During the same hours, visit our office, Agios Nikolaou 8, Ermoupoli (on the ground floor of the Labor Center, in the background). It is staffed by our volunteers Eleni Drakopoulou, Maria Katri, Agathi Karaboula, Rena Mavrikou, Dimitris Tarzentas and Maria Bisketzi. Alternatively, call 6945032623 from morning to afternoon, in order to speak with one of the Association’s nurses. If they don’t answer, don’t insist. It means he is with a patient. They will see the call and call themselves. You will explain the nursing need that has arisen along with any doctor’s instructions, and you or the person you care about will be served.