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Ageing Well: Together Recommendations And Good Practice From Diaconal Actors


Eurodiaconia is a

faith

dynamic, Europe wide community of organisations founded in the Christian

and working in the tradition of Diaconia, who are committed to a Europe of

equality

and

justice.

As the

solidarity,

leading network of Diaconia in Europe,

connect organisations, institutions and churches providing

we

social and health services and

education on a Christian value base in over 20 European countries. We bring members together to

share practices, impact social policy and reflect on

Diaconia in Europe today.

Editor: Heather Roy Design: JĂŠrĂŠmie Malengreaux Photo credits: photos are taken by Eurodiaconia members and members of members Printed on recycled paper

Rue Joseph II 166 Tel: +32 (0)2 234 38 60 1000 Bruxelles Fax: +32 (0)2 234 38 65 Belgium E-mail: office@eurodiaconia.org www.eurodiaconia.org

We want to thank the European Commission for the financial support to freely express our opinions and support the most vulnerable in our society

Ageing Well: Together

ďťż

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CONTENTS Introduction4 A reflection from the European Parliament, Heinz K. Becker Member of the European Parliament

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Eurodiaconia recommendations for active, healthy ageing 

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Eurodiaconia Award 2012

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Eurodiaconia Award recipient 2012

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Eurodiaconia Award Highly Commended 2012

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Eurodiaconia Award entries

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Further good practice examples

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Ageing Well: Together

Contents

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INTRODUCTION “We’ve put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it”. Frank A. Clark Europe’s population is ageing, but is Europe ready to meet the needs of older people? Investing in medical research and technology has led to increased life expectancy and increased autonomy for older people with care needs, but what investment do we put into ensuring older people live in dignity, free from poverty and social exclusion? How can we ensure all older people live “active” lives, whether in employment or retirement? As well as increasing pressure on social and health care services, both financially and in terms of capacity, Eurodiaconia members report that problems of loneliness and isolation are increasingly prevalent among older people and that there are an increasing number of older people living in poverty. Unfortunately many older people themselves take loneliness as inevitable and the subject is often taboo. This is why any comprehensive strategy for active ageing must include promoting social inclusion. Eurodiaconia identified that the inclusion perspective was often missing in the discussions related to the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Independent living, one of the European Year’s priorities, is important but living independently also means living in community. Eurodiaconia activities in 2012 therefore included a seminar in the European Parliament to bring attention to the issue of the social exclusion of older people and how to ensure dignified living for all. The host of the seminar, Heinz K. Becker, outlines later in this publication what he sees as the challenges for and role of diaconal organisations in this. An exhibition in the European Parliament, of Eurodiaconia’s members’ photos entitled “Diaconia breaking

Ageing Well: Together

barriers: valuing the participation of older people in society” portrayed how they facilitate the inclusion of older people in the community and their participation in society. Eurodiaconia members also observe a gap in intergenerational dialogue and perceive a risk of conflict between generations for economic resources. As society and culture progress rapidly there will always be the risk of such a gap and different tools will be needed to build understanding. Members note a negative portrayal of older people in the media, many stereotypes of older people and even a fear of older people, particularly those with dementia. Is there even a “cult of youth” which values younger people more than older people? As many settings do not have a natural intergenerational element and many activities are undertaken in age categories, there is a need for “out of the box” thinking to develop them, particularly in a time of austerity. This publication showcases a snapshot of innovative and effective diaconal work that supports active ageing and builds intergenerational solidarity; to promote mutual learning, show what can be done and argue implicitly for political and financial support for such services and projects. Ten of the services featured are entries for the Eurodiaconia Award. More information on the Award can be found on page 7. Ensuring older people can live in dignity must be a policy priority for it to be a reality. The other main element to this publication is the policy recommendations to the European Commission and national government authorities.

Introduction

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A REFLECTION FROM THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, HEINZ K. BECKER MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT care and assistance, nursing services, advice and support, equipment services including an emergency telephone service at home for older people, learning support, family services and much more. According to the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMASK), without social welfare institutions, the number of people living at risk of poverty in Austria would quadruple.

Heinz K. Becker

The added value of social welfare institutions The fact that Europeans today are living longer than ever before, nearly 10 years longer than they did in 1960, is a credit to our medical and pharmaceutical progress. However, this increased lifespan also presents new challenges to our society. One of the primary challenges is simply learning to care well for the rapidly growing demographic of older people in our population. Social care services provided by welfare organisations like Diakonie, Red Cross, Hilfswerk, Caritas or Volkshilfe - to list some I’m familiar with in Austria - are of the utmost importance to ensure that these challenges are being faced with excellence. These welfare associations offer a wide range of services to people of all ages. Their services designed for older people cover diverse needs:

But welfare organisations cannot do everything when it comes to this issue. Individual, social and political efforts are all needed in order to achieve quality care and services for older people. These efforts should include improved access to life-long learning for middle-aged and older adults, opportunities for societal participationi as well as support for active ageingii programmes, and strict quality criteria for services in elderly care and nursing homes. Challenging questions remain: “How can we create affordable, personal care services for this rapidly growing part of our population?” and “How can we give people a realistic chance to escape the poverty trap and help them build a secure future?”. Questions like these remain unanswered in many European countries today, but they need urgently to be addressed. I believe it is the obligation of decision-makers working in social policy to develop well-timed and effective policies. We must do this in close cooperation with the real experts: our successful and highly experienced welfare institutions. Let’s take up the challenges together – the future starts now!

i. http://www.bmask.gv.at/siteEN/_Social_Affairs/Senior_Citizens/Political_participation_of_older_people/ ii. http://www.bmask.gv.at/siteEN/_Social_Affairs/Senior_Citizens/Active_ageing/

Ageing Well: Together

A reflection from the European Parliament

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EURODIACONIA RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTIVE, HEALTHY AGEING These recommendations have been drawn from the Eurodiaconia policy paper Demographic change: services and social inclusion and from discussions at Eurodiaconia’s Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care Network.

Prevention Member States must think long-term, fulfilling commitments to invest more in preventive care; investing in quality curative and preventive social and health services is essential to enable active ageing. More research to prove cost effectiveness of preventive care should be carried out, and Member States should share initiatives in this area, to enable more and better spending in this area.

Provision and accessibility Public authorities must take into account the level of quality of care when financing the external provision of care services; a social service must be of high quality to perform its task of meeting a need. National legislation introducing mandatory schemes to ensure care in old age should be introduced (such as care insurance).

Staff shortages and lack of specialist qualifications could be addressed by developing dialogue between staff in long-term care and hospitals to build mutual understanding and cross over into long-term care; there is a need to change attitudes in the health sector towards long-term care and the vocabulary used. Service providers should develop care workers’ roles, giving more responsibility and widening their skills and knowledge base to improve work attractiveness.

Coordination Relevant authorities should take an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to policy and planning of social services, including, for example, ensuring transport links to services (of particular importance). Governments should consider rules to guarantee buildings and the built environment are constructed to ensure they are age and particularly dementia friendly. Increased cooperation and interaction between health and social sectors should be pursued by relevant authorities and providers; this should include interdisciplinary work and networking for mutual learning.

Varied and flexible forms of residential, community, respite and home care should be promoted to meet diverse needs, aided by investment and research into new ways of providing services.

Ageing Well: Together

Eurodiaconia recommendations for active, healthy ageing

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Understanding and diagnosing

Participation

Public authorities and service providers should work towards building acceptance and understanding of dementia in society, through publicising experiences of people with dementia and develop training in the care sector to ensure that staff can correctly diagnose dementia.

Service user participation and empowerment must be pursued. Service users’ quality of life benefits as services increasingly take into account their wishes and as users gain ownership over the process of service delivery; service quality also improves as a better understanding of the users’ wishes, capabilities and needs is gained and services are more tailormade to the individual.

The EU and Member States should promote research and careers in geriatrics and agerelated disorders and specialisms. The taboo around elder abuse needs to be lifted, in order for experiences to be shared and for it to be effectively prevented and tackled. Public and professional awareness about palliative care should be developed to ensure quality of care and dignity at life’s end.

Public authorities and service providers should develop and reinforce participatory structures and methodologies that engage people to make a difference in their own lives and those of others. The European Commission and public authorities should promote actions that facilitate the volunteering of older people, which promotes social inclusion of the volunteer and brings benefits for those they are volunteering with.

EURODIACONIA AWARD 2012 Because of the 2012 European Year, the 2012 Eurodiaconia Award called for diaconal projects and services that contribute to promoting active ageing, in residential care and in the community. The Award aims to raise awareness of diaconal work, facilitate mutual learning and highlight an issue. Ten entries were received and they were examined by a three-person panel according to the following criteria: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Reflection of diaconal values Effectiveness at meeting stated goal Impact on active ageing Cross-country transferability Originality Impact on fostering solidarity between generations

Ageing Well: Together

Two entries out of the ten submitted emerged with high scores from the judges. The 2012 Eurodiaconia Award is given to the integrated assisted living community Lagergasse, in Graz, Austria, “Miteinander leben” member of Eurodiaconia member Diakonie Austria. A Highly Commended is awarded to “In Search of the Good Life”, a mix of integrated activities and services run from an “open meeting centre” in Oslo, Norway, part of Eurodiaconia member Church City mission Oslo. All Award entries are featured in the following pages.

Eurodiaconia Award 2012

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EURODIACONIA AWARD RECIPIENT 2012 Miteinander Leben, Lagergasse, Graz Austria Austria

The concept of the project in Lagergasse, translated as “living with one another”, is to provide shared flats for older people and people who suffer from mental illness, but also normal flats for families or students in one house. It is the organisation’s particular concern to offer older and mentally ill people a place to live in the middle of society. Self-determination and the social interaction of our residents are two main aspects of our goals. Miteinander Leben started to plan the concept for the support service and living in shared flats for older people in the year 2000. The intention was to create an alternative possibility for living and care for persons over 65 years who are no longer able to live in their former apartments, but who do not need 24-hour care. Since 2003, twenty persons with different needs have lived in the house in 4 shared flats and 3 single apartments. On the third and fourth floor there are 5 flats for families and students.

Their main activities fall into two categories. On the one hand, they provide mandatory basic services to all our residents, which include consulting in everyday life issues, making appointments or providing help with physical exercise. Their complete service structure is based on the modular service system - every resident can decide which of the additional services he or she wants to use. This modular supporting system produces a high level of satisfaction for many of the residents. (Member: Diakonie Austria) Miteinander leben; Organisation für betreutes Wohnen GmbH Graz, Austria +43 316 82 52 66 office@miteinander-leben.at www.miteinander-leben.at

The concept of the project, to build a house in the city center where different people all live together, offers the perfect starting point for getting old in the middle of society. Flat sharing communities ensure social interaction among the residents, but also allow them to be on their own whenever they want. This freedom of self-determination combined with the feeling of security helps the residents to reinforce their self-confidence. As a result, the residents participate in more social activities or go out of the house more often than people who live in a less supportive community.

Ageing Well: Together

Eurodiaconia Award recipient 2012

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EURODIACONIA AWARD HIGHLY COMMENDED 2012 In Search of the Good Life, Engelsborg community centre Norway

Engelsborg is an integrated community centre for people of all ages the city of Oslo, Norway. Volunteers range in age from 24 to 93 years old. The most common beneficiaries of the services at the centre are age 65 or above. It was designed to be a natural meeting place for people in the community to come, network, and participate in various activities. There are many services provided in many fields, including sport, language courses, lectures, practical care, worship services, and multiple cultural and social opportunities. The centre believes in holistic care for its patrons, with attention to mind, body, and spirit. In the neighbourhood where the centre is located there is a rising population of older people. Many of the social problems that are often experienced by an ageing population were common here, too: alcoholism, isolation, and intense loneliness. The goal in founding the centre was to provide a safe place for people to come and get involved in the community. The services offered at Engelsborg are designed to appeal to people of various backgrounds, and one of the aims is to encourage the acceptance of differences between people. Even the menu in the cafeteria was designed with this in mind; offerings range from lighter options that would appeal to younger patrons to more traditional food and Danish pastries. The idea is that there is a space for everybody at the Engelsborg Centre.

Ageing Well: Together

Engelsborg is staffed by 14 paid employees and 100 volunteers, all of various backgrounds and skill sets. Funding comes from the government, private donors, and revenue from sales at the Centre.

(Member: Church City Mission Oslo) Engelsbord ressurssenter for elder og pürørende Oslo, Norway +47 23 42 24 10 Anita.Ellefsen@bymisjon.no http://bit.ly/engelsborg

Eurodiaconia Award Highly Commended 2012

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EURODIACONIA AWARD ENTRIES Open to seniors

Czech Republic Open to Seniors is a public awareness campaign which uses lectures, community events, standard advertising and social media to present the problem of ageism to the general public. Through constructive yet controversial slogans, fixed installations in public spaces, and published articles and spots in the media this project aims to uncover societal trends that disadvantage older people and reduce the incidence of age discrimination. The campaign gives the public a number of tips on how they can prevent discrimination against older people in their own surroundings.

Open to Seniors grew out of need – senior citizens represent the largest clientele base for Diaconia ECCB’s (Diaconia of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren) services in centers around the country. On staff are three full-time employees in Public Relations, representatives from different social care centers (residential homes), and a consulting senior sociologist. To ensure that the needs being met are in fact the needs of the older people being represented, feedback directly from older people has been relied on from the beginning, and continues to be received online. (Member of Diakonia ECCB) Diakonie ČCE – ředitelství, Prague, Czech Republic, +420 242 487 811-2 www.diakonie.cz www.otevrenoseniorum.cz

The Intercultural Neighbourhood Network 55plus Germany

This is a long-term project that began in 2010 with a purpose of fundamentally changing the society’s perception of older people. Through this campaign, people are able to gain insight not only into their false perceptions, but also into the intrinsic value of older people. The displays are designed to be attention-getting, such as a cane installed on the sidewalk with no person attached, or a poster listing obscure things with which we are more familiar than the idea of an active older person. The point is to make others aware of whom society is ignoring. Increasing intergenerational solidarity and improving the social inclusion of older people in society is the ultimate goal of the project.

Ageing Well: Together

The Intercultural Neighbourhood Network 55plus project develops and supports social networks that take into account the ethnic and cultural diversity in the district of Meerbeck in Moers, Germany. This project was designed around one of the goals of the church in the district of Meerbeck, to be a bridge-builder between cultures and faiths. The intent is to deal with the demographic changes facing the district, including an aging population and a high concentration of immigrants. The network initiates and accompanies decentralised activities in the community, starting from an intergenerational and intercultural perspective. Targeted for the project are people after their professional phase of life who can contribute to projects with their personal and professional skills. All participation is in various selfselected and self-organised volunteer activities, such as monitoring and support for children

Eurodiaconia Award entries

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and youth or assuming responsibility in intercultural projects. The Neighbourhood Network also strengthens equal participation through the promotion of civic engagement for people of every age and cultural background and thus supports integration. Every person is valued for the unique knowledge and skills that they bring. Long range goals of the project include supporting the autonomy of older participants and promoting lifelong learning as a key to leading a self-fulfilling, active and healthy life after retirement. This promotes continued engagement in society for people at advanced ages, providing opportunities for building social networks, using peoples’ skills, and learning through interaction with people across cultural and generational divides. The continuing development of the programme relies on a “research group”, which includes visiting the homes of potential participants to survey them about their expertise and background. As of now, only hard-to-reach target groups that do not have many social contacts (and are therefore in danger of isolation and exclusion) are included in survey activities. The programme relies on three pillars of personnel working together: one full-time staff person, all of the volunteer participants, and the commune of the neighbourhood (Members of Diakonie Deutschland - Evangelischer Bundesverband) Interkulturelles Nachbarschaftsnetzwerk 55plus Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Meerbeck Moers, Deutschland +49 028 41/ 518 20 66 netzwerk@meerbeck55plus.de www.meerbeck55plus.de

DORKAS Ostrava distress care Czech Republic

The DORKAS Ostrava distress care is run by Slezska diakonie (Czech Republic) and is a project that protects the autonomy and independence of its users. The premise is simple: most ageing people would rather stay in their homes than be admitted to a nursing home, but this is not always practical. As people age, they tend to need more care and are at higher risk of needing emergency assistance. This can be a source of strain both on time and also on finances. That’s where this project comes in: users are equipped with an emergency response system in their homes so they don’t need a constant caretaker. When the emergency button is pressed, a call is made to a helpdesk that is active 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. No matter what the need, the operator helps the user by calling the necessary services and making sure that they are taken care of. Users can also elect to receive telephone calls at the time intervals of their choice, during which they are informed of upcoming social and cultural events, and during which they can voice any concerns that they have. In this way, operators can quickly discover if something is out of the ordinary and requires immediate attention. Most of the beneficiaries of this project are older people, as well as people with disabilities or chronic conditions. Not only are people kept safe, but they are able to do it with the dignity that comes from choosing autonomy. (Member: Slezská diakonie) Ostrava-Nová ves, Czech Republic +420 596 613 513 – www.slezskadiakonie.cz

Ageing Well: Together

Eurodiaconia Award entries

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Servicestelle Demenz Austria

In terms of direct help, Servicestelle Demenz tries to better equip those affected by this condition to meet the diverse requirements of care. This involves offering low-threshold counselling, concrete relief, training, and common social activities, as well as professional care, diagnosis and testing. Consultation for patients or caregivers is free of charge and available to anyone who needs it, provided by a multiprofessional team. There is also an Alzheimer’s Cafe, where members of the network can meet together and exchange ideas or experiences. For a small fee, classes are also available, as well as a day care center for people with dementia. The Servicestelle Demenz, dementia service point, is a centre whose goal is to support people who are affected by dementia in some way, be it those who are directly afflicted by it, their families, or their caregivers. The centre takes a holistic tailor-made approach, providing different activities and services to be able to cater for diverse needs. It supports people in two ways: directly, through support groups, activities, workshops and other forms of education, and through advocacy and raising awareness on their behalf. Workers in this centre attempt to come alongside families or caregivers of people with dementia and offer them practical support which makes the load of care easier to bear. They focus on the capabilities of the people with dementia, rather than the challenges linked to dementia and activities are planned with the persons with dementia.

Ageing Well: Together

Training and lecture programmes are part of the public awareness campaign. These are especially effective when given in the neighbouring high school for example. There are also annual events to raise awareness and counter agerelated taboos and about supporting people who are affected by dementia. (Member of Diakonie Ă–sterreich) Evangelische Diakoniewerk Gallneukirchen; Haus fĂźr Senioren Wels Wels, Austria +43 7235 63251 123 d.palk@diakoniewerk.at http://bit.ly/seniorennetzwerk

Eurodiaconia Award entries

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Rolnicka Centre

Holiday Together

This project involves volunteer training and opportunities for ageing people. Seniors get to participate in actively helping to improve their community, and in so doing remain a vital part of society. They feel needed and are able to both teach from what they’ve learned over the course of their lives, as well as learning something new from the opportunities that they get. They are able to not only stay active and connected, but are able to form new social connections through the volunteering opportunities given them. It is open to anyone who has time and desire to get involved, including people who are unemployed or otherwise available.

This project focuses on encouraging social involvement and reducing loneliness among older members of the Evangelical Church of Iceland community. Three times every summer, trained staff from the church takes a group of about 30 older people on a vacation in the countryside of Iceland. People who attend these trips are almost exclusively over the age of 80, and would not be able to take such a trip on their own for health reasons. Friendly interaction between the participants is encouraged, and various activities are organised.

Czech Republic

The benefit of the programme is not just for the older people who take part. Projects are done for local NGOs who set up the organisation. Therefore, people in the local community are the most direct beneficiaries of this club. Members meet regularly in a public place to organise new projects and work on existing ones. All the volunteer activities in which the users participate are self-selected based on skill and interest. This means that the seniors plug in where they will feel the most useful, and they are put in contact with people who share their interests. There are also several opportunities every year to participate in activities of personal interest or benefit, such as memory training, discussion about adult education for ageing people, and cultural discussions. In September 2012 the Diaconal center Rolnicka co-organised a public conference to the topic of “Volunteering in the Year of Active Ageing” which took place in Sobeslav, South Bohemia. (Member of Diakonia ECCB) Diakonie ČCE – středisko Rolnička Soběslav, Czech Republic +420 381522054 – www.rolnicka.cz

Ageing Well: Together

Iceland

The trip is made possible by six staff who accompany each holiday. Two of the six are trained care professionals, who can help in case of a health emergency and make sure that attendees who are in ill-health remain safe and able to enjoy their time. The remaining four staff people are in charge of practical needs, such as preparing meals. The project is available to all older people, with a priority on people with low incomes. The effects of this unique project are very positive: the older people who participate are often filled with new hope about living with illness or the effects of aging, and the time spent away eases the burden of full-time care on friends and relatives. Because many older individuals are confined to their homes almost year-round, this is a chance to experience social interaction with peers, make friends, and enjoy a special time away from day-to-day life. The project is funded by the church and the State Department of Welfare, and also partially by the participants themselves. (Member: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland) Ellimalanefnd, Valgerdur Gisladottir Reykjavik, Iceland +354 587 1500 – kirkjan@kirkjan.is

Eurodiaconia Award entries

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Valuable Weekdays Sweden

Valuable Weekdays is a project that takes place at a centre for older people in the small town of Ljungskile on the Swedish west coast. The center has 45 permanent residents and in addition, it is open daily for other older people living in their own homes in the same town. The center is run by Bräcke Diakoni, with the main financial funding from the municipality. The idea behind the programme was to create a series of activities tailored to the specific desires of residents that would be available throughout the month. Activities selected by the programme so far include a hand spa, baking, grilling, walking, gardening, trivia and board games and crafts. The purpose of the project is to increase the level of daily activities for the residents (apart from pure nursing and caring activities), and have both the residents and the staff take a common responsibility in planning and carrying out new activities – in order to have a more valuable weekday and increase the perceived quality of life. The project was primarily organised by Bräcke Diakoni, and also coordinated and shared by other NGOs in a common organisation called Famna, The Swedish Association for Non-Profit Health and Social Services. (Member through ADIS) Bräcke Diakoni Göteborg, Sweden +46 31 50 25 00 theresia.liden@brackediakoni.se www.brackediakoni.se

of older people in the area who were not yet ready to live in a nursing home, but who still experienced the personal and social difficulties of living alone with degenerating health. The network provides many opportunities for social connections, such as a weekly Stammtisch (a group who regularly gathers to talk) and the access to cultural events like concerts. The network also serves a practical function, providing information and consultation to older people who find themselves in difficult situations due to living alone, or to people who are suffering from the onset of dementia. Finally the network establishes health care opportunities like fall prevention. This network was designed to fill a gap in the social care system. Many older people would rather remain in their homes as long as possible instead of moving to a nursing home. Doctors and healthcare professionals can help with maintaining this autonomy, but not with the personal and social ramifications, such as loneliness, isolation, or practical difficulties. With help from the Senior Network, the quality of life of people who choose to remain autonomous longer can be vastly improved. (Member of Diakonie Deutschland - Evangelischer Bundesverband) Ev.-luth. Diakoniewerk Neuendettelsau KdöR Neuendettelsau, Deutschland +49 (0)9874 84659 Elke.Kaufmann@diakonieneuendettelsau.de www.diakonieneuendettelsau.de

Seniorennetzwerk Germany

The goal of this project (Seniors’network) was to provide an easily accessible network of practical and social support to seniors in the Nordstadt neighbourhood in the city of Nürnberg. The driving force of the network is the care

Ageing Well: Together

Eurodiaconia Award entries

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FURTHER GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLES Pilke Project Finland

The peer support groups meet every week and are low-threshold, easily accessible, designed to encourage people to come to get acquainted and try them out without any need of commitment. Through the groups older people can form social connections with others, and participants are supported to start meaningful activities within the groups to provide alternatives to drinking. Within these communities, change is not required, but things like mutual respect, positivity, and community are. Staff is seen as equals to the participants. Volunteerism of the participants is developed through engaging them in peer support activities. The Pilke Project is a networking project for older people with substance abuse problems, and professionals with an interest in helping this age group. The project focuses on two main areas: to advocate for the rights of these people, especially their right to social care, and to provide them with opportunities for support and motivation through social groups. In addition, skills for daily living are fostered. The project is organised with two components: the outreach by staff and peer volunteer activities. In the outreach component, the project actively seeks out potential participants through social and health care workers, as well as the diaconal work of the church parishes. Invitations are spread out through personal telephone calls, or sometimes through a visit to an individual’s home. Many of the beneficiaries typically stay in their homes for the majority of time, either by need or by choice, and bringing such persons back into community takes time.

Ageing Well: Together

The network primarily helps people who are over 60 years of age with substance abuse challenges. It also connects professionals such as healthcare providers, social workers, and ministers, all of who have an interest in helping in this area. Information sharing is common, and there are always professionals present at the meetings to help anyone who is in need. (Member: Helsinki Deaconess Institute) +358 050 535 9114 terhi.pajunen@hdl.fi http://bit.ly/pilke-project

Further good practice examples

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The Club Active Society Poland

The Club Active Society was formed in 2006 as a cooperative project between a boarding school for youth, which belongs to the Martin Luther Evangelical Centre for Diaconia and Education, a nursing home, and a homeless shelter in Wroclaw, Poland. The idea was to offer to residents of the boarding school a way to spend their free time more actively. The club members, who are pupils at the boarding school, were given the task of using free time creatively and coordinating activities for the residents of the nursing home and the children from the homeless shelter as well. Initial experiments were mostly excursions. Soon a unique dynamic developed, where the young people in the boarding school, most of them with chronic illnesses or physical disabilities, discovered their own potential for empathy and creativity. Although social exclusion is a very real threat for each of them, they were also needed by someone. Over time it has proven to be very important to have generational linking programmes. The younger people benefit from the wisdom and experience of the older people and the older people also learn much from the younger people. Through the different activities, younger people can learn to adapt a pro-social behaviour which gives them a deeper sense of purpose and joy in life. The activities developed by the initiative include games and sports, art workshops, dance festivals, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle as well as guidance counselling and others. In a competition called “Half a Life Separates Us,” the relationship between the generations is represented through photography, crafts, literature or multimedia.

Ageing Well: Together

(Member: Diakonia Kosciola Ewangelicko-Augsburgskiego) +48 (22) 88 70 207 info@diakonia.org.pl www.diakonia.org.pl/index.php?D=195

Grey is more than a colour Netherlands

“Grey is more than a colour” is a programme designed to support local churches by helping them to set up and or renew their work among older people. One focus of the project is promoting autonomy. Real and meaningful social care of older people is not something that’s done to them, but rather for them, while allowing them to fully participate in society. The project seeks to stimulate older people to participate in social and community affairs, including being involved in any decision making that affects them as a demographic. Members of churches who are being assisted are encouraged to focus not only within the church, but on providing care and developing social connections in the surrounding community. Courses are also available on recognising and addressing loneliness.

Further good practice examples

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Another focus is countering negative views society too often has towards its ageing population. This project seeks to help everyone understand that older people are not a problem, but rather a vital part of every community. New policies that are supported and developed in churches must, therefore, have a focus on bridging the generational divides and must be open to anyone who wishes to be involved. This all comes out of the understanding that good policies and services dedicated to the older population can have a positive and revitalizing effect on the entire surrounding community. In 2012 extra attention has been drawn to the abuse of older people. The Dutch government commissioned the development of a Toolkit for Volunteers against Abuse of the Elderly (by the Verwey-Jonker Institute). Church in Action participates in the ‘Train the Trainer’ programme via “Grey is more than a colour”. (Member: Kerk in Actie) Willy Meijnhardt, Project Manager: Church in Action Internal Deaconate (Kerk in Actie) +31 30 880 1456 servicedesk@kerkinactie.nl http://bit.ly/ouderen-kia

The Alzheimer’s Café Italy

A team from the Diaconia Valdese retirement home Il Gignoro opened an Alzheimer’s Café in Florence in January 2011, after collaborating with several different local organisations. Since then, every third Wednesday of the month gatherings are held, which provides opportunities to meet new people affected by Alzheimer’s, including those directly afflicted, their families, and carers. In June 2011 meetings started taking place that were devoted specifically to carers, aimed at both helping them with the difficulties they encounter and informing about existing services, including those linked to Café Alzheimer. At Café Alzheimer patients from the day center and from Il Gignoro are involved in the meeting activities. The meetings are held by workers and educators of Il Gignoro who use these opportunities to offer their experience and at the same time expand their knowledge. Every person that intervenes adds new shades and colours to the picture, so as to form a bridge that can help those affected by this condition to cross from solitude into community. One of the co-founders wrote, “I had heard of an Alzheimer Café that started in the Netherlands a few years ago, in which family members and guests could come together and would have a qualified staff around who could help them. Later I met the organisers of the Free Café Alzheimer in Via San Gallo in Florence, and I understood that the aim is to create a non-institutional, neutral space for discussions, positive experiences, small group activities, and thus exiting from the abyss of loneliness and fear that cages people with this illness.” (Member: Diaconia Valdese) Torre Pellice, Italy +39 0121-953122 servizigenerali@diaconiavaldese.org www.diaconiavaldese.org

Ageing Well: Together

Further good practice examples

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Le Kachelofe France

Le Kachelofe is an Alsace association for older people in need of care, founded by the protestant parish of Meinau in Strasbourg in 1986. As well as coordinating social and medical services for its residents, the centre also organises activities such as theatre trips and writing classes designed to help with memory retention.

Le Kachelofe has 84 permanent beds in six living units, temporary accommodation for eleven people and a day centre for 12 older people with mental health support requirements. Le Kachelofe has more than 500 members, including local residents and parishioners, many of whom take an active part in the life of the association.

Members can benefit from a full catering service on site from Monday to Friday. The association also provides daily meals for 40-50 school children from the school next door and for the children that attend the activity centre on Wednesdays and public holidays. The organisation is in this way open to people living in the area, and through mixing residents and nonresidents, it contributes to developing social and intergenerational links in the spirit of respecting every individual. Conversations during meal times help create a real dynamic of social solidarity. The nature of the organisation as an association promotes action in synergy with its members, its residents and the personnel, to the benefit of the people welcomed there. The way that the organisation operates redefines and re-balances the roles played by the partners in gerontology. In a spirit of solidarity, they are constantly pursuing better conditions which ensure the social inclusion of older people for as long as possible. This is why the local authority chose the association to construct new accommodation for older people, including assisted living units. (Member: Fédération de l’Entraide Protestante) Strasbourg, France Tel: +33 3 88 40 05 50 www.fep.asso.fr/

For more information about Eurodiaconia’s work on Active Ageing and Social Inclusion, please contact the office at office@eurodiaconia.org or call us on +32 2 234 38 60. Alternatively you can find more information on our website: http://bit.ly/eurodiaconia-ageing

Ageing Well: Together

Further good practice examples

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Rue Joseph II, 166 1000 Brussels Belgium

+32 0(2) 234 38 60 Tel.: Fax : +32 0(2) 234 38 65 E-mail : info@eurodiaconia.org

www.eurodiaconia.org

Ageing Well: Together  

Recommendations And Good Practices From Diaconal Actors on Ageing and Social Inclusion.

Ageing Well: Together  

Recommendations And Good Practices From Diaconal Actors on Ageing and Social Inclusion.

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