What We All Need in SMA

By Pepe Valencia

A few days ago, walking in the Centro, a very old woman tripped and fell down and hit her face with all the weight of her body against the cobblestones, so I stopped to help her. She was semi-conscious and bleeding profusely from her nose. I called the Red Cross and they took 20 minutes to arrive, because there was a celebration and the ambulance could not get there any faster. On another occasion a dear friend died at home alone and his body was found days later, obviously in a state of decomposition.

Hospice San Miguel disappeared and the need for hospice services is mandatory, since for some expats, like many Mexicans in terminal condition, access to services is difficult and sometimes very expensive. It is not fair for someone to die with pain and/or alone: Hospice services are needed! A very large number of people who live with cognitive or physical impairment and require 24/7 care cannot receive attention because they have a limited budget and decided to live to the end of their lives in this city. ALMA A.C. helps but they need more equipment and more well-trained staff.

Many retirees live alone without safe, honest, and reliable basic services to call. I refer specifically to services such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and laundry.

San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful place and those of us who are privileged to live here must go to Querétaro, León, or even farther to receive or purchase products and services that are needed for daily living.

The old woman’s fall could not be avoided, but it could be addressed more quickly if the paramedical professionals of the Red Cross were able to respond without impediments. This is an exception; the death of my friend is another, as if he had received a type service “check survival for those living alone,” this would not have happened … in my personal experience, the refrigerator broke down, I took the yellow pages and called someone to its review and repair. He said he needed a new compressor and I paid for the repair over 2,500 pesos. The problem continued, I called another technician who assured me that the problem was never the compressor, but a magnetic element of the electrical system. The cost of repair was of 150 pesos.

A Canadian resident had a health problem; she went to a doctor who assured her that emergency surgery was required. She consulted another in Querétaro and her disease was cured with a treatment for one week only.

Aware of this, a group of people that wants to help those who live here is forming to develop ideas and propose solutions that will be presented in the near future to the community of SMA through Atención. Please stay tuned.


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