Bread of Life at the forum "Existing program of support and assistance to families suffering from dementia"
On Monday, October 22, in the Assembly Hall of the City Municipality of Zvezdara, a panel discussion was held on the topic "Existing program of support and assistance to families with dementia."
This panel is a continuation of the activities of our partners and network Volunteer Service "Zvezdare", "Bread of Life" and the Association "Okrilje", who have much experience in direct work with the families of people with dementia.
The gathering was intended for professionals dealing with dementia, but also for patients and their family members, associations and everyone who wants to be informed about this disease, symptoms, everyday problems and obstacles that families face.
These activities of the informal network were carried out since September 21, at the Volunteer Service Center of Zvezdara and "Bread of Life". In addition to the elderly citizens from Zvezdara and other Belgrade municipalities, representatives of over 20 families with dementia, representatives of the city municipalities of Zvezdara and Vracar, the Gerontological Society of Serbia, social protection institutions: City Center for Social Work in Belgrade - municipal departments, Gerontology Center Belgrade, Shelters for adults and the elderly, health care institutions: Institute of Mental Health, City Institute of Public Health - Office of Elderly Health, and the Institute of Gerontology and Palliative Care, professors, assistants and students: Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Political Science, the College of Social Work and the Faculty of Communication and Media, the Humanas Network, the Red Cross of Belgrade and Serbia, journalists and volunteers of the Volunteer Service and the Bread of Life - have all participated in the forum.
Experts with experience in work with the elderly, especially with the problems of dementia, namely: Dr. Brankica Jankovic, professor Dr Aleksandra Milicevic Kalasic, Dr Dragana Trifunovic Balanovic, Jasmina Tosic, Dr Irena Dzeletovic Milosevic, Ms. Nadežda Satarić, Dr Rada Popović and Ms Radmila Urošević.
The most important conclusions of the event (the order of their listing does not mean the degree of their importance) are:
- In every way, it is necessary to strengthen all the capacities of the Centers for social work, in the field of protection and support of those suffering from dementia.
- It is necessary to systematically solve the chronic problem of supply of diapers for patients, that the families should receive at the expense of the health fund,
- It is necessary to develop at the local level services (in public and private sector) as well as models of immediate social care of informal helpers for the socially vulnerable and marginalized individuals and families as support in their daily functioning, according to the model / example of good practice of the Zvezdara Volunteer Service.
- It is necessary to strengthen partnerships and networks of the public, private and civil sectors as they can be real resource in improving assistance and support to carers - family members of patients who have some form of dementia , in order to prevent or address their burnout syndrome.
- It is necessary to design a program of continuous education, which should include all individuals who come into contact with patients, in order to provide support to families, but also to help in prevention of dementia at an early age and to add important knowledge in recognizing early symptoms and a number of later symptoms of dementia.
- Existence of day care centers for demented individuals, which didn't exist until recently - have significantly helped the patients and have adided them in preservation in their capacities, and have even more helped the families who take care of patients or have taken care of for a long time.
- The Ministries responsible for these issues : The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Health, should pay special attention to these patients in their strategic documents, the patients of dementia and to their families. It is especially important to develop recommendations and / or protocols on the actions and help that volunteers / informal helpers provide in support of patients at home and other support that they offer, in order to define and outline ways and limits, of support and thus minimize the objective risks for all participants in this process.
- Urgent procedures are especially needed in procedures when professionals and / or volunteers register new demented individual living all alone without family care or support.
- It is important to develop and create a list of active programs focused on preventive activities through programs of active participation, socialization, personal skills development and education, which best prevent loneliness, depression and dementia in the long run, which will then reduce the pressure and the weight that this problem imposes on social and health funds. Develop aid groups and self-help groups with the mentoring support of professionals who would develop and monitor their work.