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19 March 2021

#ForzaNonni, our project conceived for the elderly

Angelo Conti

“Forza nonni!” (Come on you elderly!”) is a Specchio d’Italia Foundation project born after the outbreak of the pandemic. When it was suddenly realized that older people had become much more fragile, and not only – unfortunately – because they were dying. Their life had suddenly become complicated and everything had become more difficult: from shopping to picking up a drug, up to maintaining a minimum of human relationships with their children and grandchildren. Deep loneliness, crossed by fear but also by despair. The Bersezio Foundation was immediately close to us, with an important contribution, sharing the project with enthusiasm.

So Specchio d’Italia set off by identifying the weakest and loneliest “over 80s”, launching an assistance programme in Milan, Rome, Genoa, Bari and Turin which resulted in the delivery of the Thirteenth Salary of Friendship in December (a cheque for 300 euros to make Christmas less sad), the donation of two shopping packages a month left on the doormat, the assistance for 4 hours a month of a domestic worker, a constant telephone presence guaranteed by the volunteer group of Specchio d’Italia and, if necessary, psychological support. In addition, as part of the School-Work Alternation programme, the students of the communication courses of some classical high schools will collect the “memories” of the elderly assisted in a volume, so as not to waste this precious heritage of knowledge and experience. All ways to keep saying “Come on you elderly! You are not alone!”

The President of Specchio d’Italia, Lodovico Passerin d’Entreves, underlined the validity of the initiative: “The goal is not so much to offer economic support, which is also provided and is important, but above all to share the difficulties of people who, too often, find themselves alone after a busy life and work. The delivery of a shopping package every two weeks, the availability of a domestic assistant, the phone calls from volunteers and the availability of a psychologist are all elements capable of changing the life of people who must not feel marginalized”.

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