About the situation
Since February, 24 2022 a wholescale Russian military invasion started in Ukraine. During the first month of war more than 4 thousand houses were destroyed, 6,5 million Ukrainians left their homes. A lot of villages in Ukraine are on the edge of a humanitarian catastrophe without water, heat, and electricity. The most vulnerable populations such as people with dementia and their relatives are finding themselves in an extremely difficult situation. The biggest challenges that they are facing include:
- Evacuation of people with dementia from the most dangerous territories and finding a new place for them to live.
- Lack of medication and medical supplies.
- The general state of people with dementia has worsened considerably. This has been caused by the constant noise of the air strikes and necessity to hide in bomb shelters or other safe places, which has extremely difficult or impossible for people with dementia.
- Difficulty for people living with dementia and their relatives to flee from their country.
- The lack of awareness surrounding dementia is a big problem. People don’t feel comfortable disclosing their condition to people around them, which can often make things worse.
Ongoing work/Nezabutni’s response
Since the first days of the war “Nezabutni”, a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting people with dementia and their relatives, has taken on the role of supporting people with dementia living in Ukraine. To ensure people living with dementia and their relatives continue to be supported during this difficult time, Nezabutni has:
- Recruited forty volunteers to search, collect, and deliver medication to people living with dementia. Since the war started 90% of pharmacies have closed. This work has been essential to ensure people with dementia continue to have access to their medication. Thanks to Americares more than 800 kg of medications were delivered to Ukraine in the first shipment and another shipment is on its way. ADI and the WHO are also doing their best in helping find the needed medications.
- To support families, we have provided free online consultations with psychiatrists, individual sessions with psychologists and group therapy sessions. Additionally, a Viber group for relatives of people with dementia has been developed. This group is meant to provide a space for relatives of people with dementia to communicate and support each other, as needed.
- For individuals that have fled the country, Nezabutni has provided informational support, help with finding transport and personal needs like wheelchairs.
- Assisted ADI in developing informational cards covering advice for carers, humanitarian agencies, communities and people living with dementia during times of crisis.
- Seeking help from countries to provide information and assist people with dementia who are arriving in their countries as refugees. The support that we are advocating for includes help with respite care, access to adult daycentres, or to open temporary spaces in a nursing home. Additionally, through the local Societies that help people with dementia in other countries, Nezabutni has been asking at the government level to assist with medications and access to nursing homes.
If you would like find out more about, and support, Nezabutni's work, please visit its website here: Незабутні (nezabutni.org)