‘The neighbourhood centre is essential to me for my physical and mental well-being’
Jeanine Braham is 74 years old and a regular visitor to the Chambéry neighbourhood centre in Etterbeek. She tells us how she experienced the lockdown.
‘The second lockdown is harder, because I know more people who have caught the virus and because one of them died without being able to say goodbye to family members. During the lockdown, the neighbourhood centre provides home-delivered meals to many older people who absolutely need this. The staff also always offers us a listening ear. Despite the strict measures, activities are organised outdoors: we go for walks in small groups and paint a wall of the town hall. I would like to thank the neighbourhood centre for continuing to organise all these things.’
‘The impact of the lockdown on seniors has been underestimated.'
Mark D’Hondt is responsible for the Cosmos local service centre (LDC) in Anderlecht. He attests to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the elderly.
‘Among the visitors, there was great anxiety of being left alone. It was very important for us to keep in touch with them. We phoned them and sent them cards and drawings from Brussels Helps. They appreciated this enormously. The summer provided a chance for many visitors to unburden themselves. Our holiday week in the Flemish Ardennes did everyone a lot of good. During the second lockdown, we continued to visit people. And as the holiday period approached, we brought the elderly a festive meal and a surprise package to their homes.’