THE INFORMAL SUPPORT NETWORK FOR FAMILIES WITH DEMENTIA
The Informal Network for the Support of Families with Dementia was launched in 2016 as part of the Bread of Life project "Social Services for the Elderly and Promotion of Active Aging". In addition to the help provided by the Bread of Life Association, other organizations also contributed namely, the Association of Citizens of "Okrilje" , the Volunteer Association of Zvezdara, and the Association "DESTIGMA" which assists the elderly with mental disorders.
The Goal of the Network is to promote in society and to create an awareness and understanding of people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as well as to define the needs of both patients and their caregivers.
The activities of the Network are focused on:
- Organizing forum in cooperation with the local community, with other leaders in the community, and with organizations on the issue of raising citizens' awareness of the problem of dementia;
- Organizing round tables with representatives of relevant institutions, experts and other leaders interested in topics related to the importance of dementia, where public advocacy is needed;
- Implementation of a comprehensive “Psychosocial Support Programme for Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia”;
The goal of the programme is to provide psychological assistance to caregivers, and then to train them for active participation in solving behavioural problems of their patients. Also to address the psychological needs of caregivers, and to provide counselling and/or cognitive behavioural interventions to caregivers.
The programme is implemented by the network member organization DESTIGMA, a registered association for helping the elderly with mental disorders. The support team for informal caregivers consists of a psychiatrist, a nurse, and an occupational therapist with many years of experience working in similar institutions dealing with mental health.
Programme activities are carried out through:
- A cycle of 12 workshops for personal empowerment of caregivers, and training on how to deal with problems which arise when taking care of people suffering from dementia;
- Individual counselling for informal caregivers - once a week for two hours;
- Counselling by phone - once a week for two hours;
In addition, the following forms of assistance are provided for caregivers who are caring for persons with dementia:
- Info desk - information by phone about existing partner programmes in the Network (twice a week);
- Individual conversation with an expert (psychologist);
- Legal advice regarding the exercise of rights in the field of social and health care;
- Involvement in educational workshops as well as workshops for personal empowerment;
- Involvement in help and self-help groups;
- Providing information and educational materials in the field of support and care for a demented family member, and educational materials for informal helpers or members of their families;
All those who are interested in getting additional information about our counseling, or the support we offer to caregivers, or workshops and other activities that we provide, in the Network, please contact us at 060 / 553-58-96 every working day from 09:00 to 15:00.