The day we arrived at the house, her niece greeted us in the yard. She lives with her son, who was away visiting the doctor. He has cancer and is often away working or receiving cancer treatments. Bun Mee was feeling unwell that day but she would be glad to see us. At 92 years old she suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. She has outlived her husband and two of her children; two of her three remaining children live in nearby villages and her son lives with her.
Bun Mee often feels dizzy and unsteady. As she is over 90 years old, she gets 900 baht (30 USD) a month from the government in financial assistance. Programs like elder allowance and 30 baht health care are only available to those with a national ID card. She is lucky to be eligible to receive this assistance, unlike many elders in this area. Her 53 year old son works in a rice field when he feels well. 900 baht a month is not enough to live on when you factor in the cost of necessities such as food, medicines, doctor visits and cancer treatments.
Bun Mee was very grateful to receive a care package from Mundo and Namsuk Ma Hai Foundation. She loved the small inhaler that we include in the package. When asked what else she might like she simply said, “socks!” Especially for elders, in these winter months keeping your feet warm is so helpful in warding off seasonal illness. We came back with socks for her, and have since then included socks in our care packages.
She was happy for the food and was mostly glad for the company. It can be quite lonely being home alone all day! Fortunately one of the local volunteers who accompanied us knows her well and is able to come back and visit her for check ins and enjoying each other’s company.
Donations allow us to continue caring for elders in the villages and communities around us. Our Covid Relief Care Packages help support both the physical and the mental well-being of vulnerable people living in poverty.