Insights into the work of Caritas in Erlenbach am Main

“Every guest is unique”


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Highlight of the day: the round of newspapers with nurse Sandra Rohleder.

Photo: Martin Schwarzkopf

Editor-in-Chief Martin Schwarzkopf spent a day visiting a nursery in Erlenbach. He has captured the daily lives of people who spend their time here – those who need care and caregivers.

The sun is shining – and Sandra Rohleder is in a good mood. Kind words, light touches on the arm, a chat about sleeping and waking up, about the next breakfast. Along with nurse Karin Lerch, nurse Rohleder is the most important contact person for guests visiting Caritas ’daycare Ursula Wiegand this Tuesday in early summer in the early morning hours. They will spend time together – in a place where they are taken seriously and where employees can take time for the elderly and weak and their cares.

The faces of the guests show the traces of life. These include people with dementia, people after a stroke, the very elderly and diabetics. They are all accepted as they are. Exchange ideas with each other about things from the past. Sing along with hits from the 1960s and folk songs that pianist Johannes Schwab plays live on the piano. Enjoy a day that offers plenty of room for inspiration and rest, but no place for unwanted boredom.

The team

It is the people who make the difference. Sunday speeches often say that care is more a call than a job. You can experience what that means in Erlenbach. Anyone who observes the affection and attention with which nurse Karin Lerch brings the inevitable heart test closer to her guests; Anyone who sees how nurse Sandra Rohleder is trying to respond to every little concern – wishes there would be similarly caring people on the home side of their own lives.

Nurse specialist Karin Lerch (52) has been working in a large hospital for decades, now she is there for the people in Erlenbach. Sandra Rohleder (49) worked in outpatient care for 23 years before she left for health reasons. In a three-month training course including a final exam, she qualified for the role of caretaker.

For both, however, work in Erlenbach is much more than just work – and this applies to the entire team, which also includes management staff, other supervisors and nurses as well as their own transport service. Volunteers are also irreplaceable, eating lunch from the Wika canteen in Klingenberg, for example
The administrator of the day care Ursula Wiegand is Nicole Strehl-Abt. Despite all the paperwork and a few other chores, she always gives help in the morning when guests have worries so that the day can start well. With his positive attitude, Strehl-Abt exemplifies the philosophy that characterizes the whole team – and which Karin Lerch sums up in one sentence: “Every guest is unique.” And that’s why every guest deserves to be cared for individually and appropriately and to be guided through the day.

A typical daily routine in day care in Erlenbach

Daily life in day care in Erlenbach

The beginning of the day: the vital Covid test is routinely finished, the nursing staff takes over this work. 15 minutes later every guest knows: Okay, I can stay.

Daily life in day care in Erlenbach

Individual training with supervisor Hilal Erensoy-Acar and care robot »Pepper«. Some guests want to exercise right after breakfast, they want to do something for themselves.

Daily life in day care in Erlenbach

The bureaucracy calls: Even in day care, there is a lot of paperwork for the nursing staff, the supervisors and the facility management. Everything is precisely documented: who drinks as much as the visitors do, what they do together. Facility manager Nicole Strehl-Abt sometimes does important things in her office.

Daily life in day care in Erlenbach

Lunch is served. There is a vegetarian and meat variant, the food is brought by a volunteer from the Wika canteen in Klingenberg. The starter is a delicious slow soup, slightly spicy.

Daily life in day care in Erlenbach

Highlight in the afternoon: Johannes Schwab from Röllbach sits at the piano and plays folk songs – many sing along and remember.

The newspaper circle

A highlight of the morning is the circle of newspapers. Sandra Rohleder browses the Obernburg edition of the Chief, choosing the topics she will then read to her guests. The interests of the listeners are as colorful as life itself. A police report on vandalism, some local news from the district, a glimpse of big politics – all this is carefully noted and sometimes vigorously discussed.

However, a few sections are an essential part of the program: the obituaries, the weather report – and as an absolute favorite the short text “Ironimus”, which aims to make you smile on the first page of our local section in the district. of Miltenberg. “Irony is absolutely necessary every day,” says Rohleder – and in fact people specifically ask about it when the newspaper round has already lasted a good half hour.

The use

Mental and physical stimulus – this characterizes the day along with rest periods, eating together, playing and chatting. Care without hectics, without running, without constant stress – this is how an oasis of humanity is created, even though work is concentrated and with the highest quality standards (including hygiene and documentation).

There are still places available in Erlenbach and in several other daycare facilities in the region. According to information from our editorial office, offers like Caritas can currently be triggered to cover costs – even if it is still unclear how inflation and booming energy prices will affect them. It is indisputable that, from the point of view of experts, daily offerings make a very important contribution to reassuring an important group of nurses who are often not the focus of attention at all: It is the caring relatives who do incredibly great things like wives, children or grandchildren – and those who receive day care help to breathe and be able to do important things for themselves.

Martin Schwarzkopf

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