A Warm Memory from the Reopening of the Lixouri Eldercare Home
16 December 2020

It’s a warm and sunny day, early September 2018. Full of excitement and anticipation, Mrs. Rita, Mr. George, and all the others who live in the eldercare home in Lixouri have been preparing for this special, personal moment. Their home—the building and its facilities—has been completely renovated, and today the whole community is celebrating.

Early in the afternoon, friends and locals start to gather. Most of them have or had a personal connection to the eldercare home, either because a friend or relative has stayed or worked there, or because they have donated to the home’s operations. On average, around 40 people stay at the home, many of them bedridden. Their family members have moved to other places, for jobs or family reasons, and they do not have the means to support themselves. The home is a mainstay in the local community, and this is evident from the faces and words of everyone gathered for the rededication.

Over the years—even after a strong earthquake in 2014 made the building unsafe to stay in—there was no shortage of donations, food relief, and other support from the local community for the home. However, complete reconstruction of the building in accordance with new standards of comfort and safety required significant resources, as well as the know-how to shepherd the project through complex technical and administrative procedures. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) recognized this need and, after a site visit, approved a grant for studies, licensing, and the reconstruction of the home.

The new building includes large areas for food preparation and storage, laundry, mechanical equipment, and more, all according to the new specifications and based on the home’s capacity of 40 people. At the same time, the home’s old stone building was completely modernized according to specifications in bathrooms and room capacity, and it now includes a doctor’s office, a physiotherapy room, and offices. After the completion of its reconstruction project, the historic building is now a point of pride for the eldercare home, and for the town.

As in all grants that involve the Foundation’s technical team, technical design and implementation aim directly at helping the project deliver the best possible services, sustainably. It is a great joy for all of us when a successful technical project achieves this, helping to satisfy current social needs and, more than anything, helping beneficiaries like Mrs. Rita.

The Foundation’s Technical team works closely on the evaluation and implementation of certain grants, particularly in Greece, helping ensure that they are completed on time, on budget, and to a high standard of quality. However, far more than from considerations of architecture and engineering, sustainable success for this—and every—grant comes from the passion and vision of the people behind it to deliver broader added value for society.

The guests are joyfully taking in the newly remodeled building during the warm and emotional reopening event. Beautiful words of happiness and gratitude warm everyone’s hearts, as do music and song. It’s fitting because the philharmonic orchestra, the choir, and various other regional cultural institutions regularly visit the home for concerts and events, like the singing of Christmas carols that will take place there again this year.

Mrs. Rita sweetly told us that she would very much like to express her gratitude to the Co-President of SNF, Andreas Dracopoulos, in person. We assured her that her kind words were more than enough.

Kostas Liveris
SNF Deputy Chief Technical Officer