Ukrainian Refugee With Alzheimer’s Finds Forever Home In Bishop’s Cleeve
27 October 2022
An 81-year-old refugee living with Alzheimer’s Disease has escaped war-torn Ukraine to start a new life at Bishop’s Cleeve Care Home.
Vladimir Yarkin and his wife Zinaida managed to escape their home city, Kharkiv, after enduring weeks of Russian bombing and have reached safety in the UK.
Following their arrival, Vladimir has been given sanctuary at Bishop’s Cleeve Care Home on Ruby Avenue, which is run by Advinia Health Care.
There he has been able to rest and recuperate from his ordeal, and his daughter Oksana says the family have been overwhelmed by the staff’s kindness.
Oksana said: “Everyone at Bishop’s Cleeve Care Home has been incredible – Dad immediately went from refusing to move because he was so distressed to being calm, happy, and smiling.
“When I walked into the care home for the first time, I was looking around going, ‘Wow, what is this place? A five-star hotel?’
“The team have had little cards printed with pictures that have the English and Ukrainian words next to each other so we can communicate with them.
“My Mum cannot believe it, and she keeps asking, ‘Why do they do this for us? We are not anything special. Everyone is so nice.'”
Oksana arranged for her parents – who have been married for 55 years – to escape Kharkiv via a private ambulance, which drove them to safety in Poland.
During the treacherous journey across their ravaged homeland, it was hard to get supplies and medicine for Vladimir.
Enduring the ordeal left Vladimir deeply distressed and confused, particularly as it was difficult to manage his Alzheimer’s under such conditions.
Now Oksana is thrilled that her father has been offered a permanent home at Bishop’s Cleeve, and mum Zinaida is happily living close by in Cheltenham.
Oksana said: “Dad is calm again, and he smiles – he loves listening to the birds in the garden and singing along to Ukraine music.
“Mum has formed great friendships with Dad’s carers – they’ve made so much effort that it makes me want to cry.
“We don’t know how to thank people anymore. We have run out of ways to say thank you.
“Our family is not used to this level of kindness and friendship.”
After meeting with the Yarkin family, Customer Relations Manager Martin Wild said their story proves that love will always win.
Martin said: “Vladimir and Zinaida have witnessed the very worst that humanity can be.
“It’s our privilege to be able to offer a safe, loving home for Vladimir and support for Zinaida.
“Speaking to them and hearing their harrowing story is incredibly humbling.
“But their bravery and survival proves that love will conquer all.”