SOCIAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY, PROMOTION OF ACTIVE AGING AND SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA
The programme for serving the elderly, originated from the engagement and work of the Bread of Life with refugees in the 1990s. At that time refugees were provided with material assistance. However over time it was understood that their needs and helplessness were much greater. Today poverty, insufficient care of the family, and unemployment among immediate family members, are the most common problems faced by the elderly.
Recognizing this situation, Bread of Life began in 2004 to develop a social programme to help the elderly in a more comprehensive way.
Thanks to professional and quality work in the field of social assistance, in June 2018 Bread of Life received a license (number 399) from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Veterans Affairs and Social Affairs, to authorize them to provide the social service programme, ‘Home Care for the Elderly and Adults’.
This license opened the doors for Bread of Life to improve the services on an individual level which the elderly have been receiving, as well as to increase the possibility of influencing state wide solutions designed to support the elderly in the community. It also helps to enhance communication with relevant leaders in the community. The license enabled us to further develop standardization of our services, their availability, and criteria for selecting beneficiaries, and also to further develop our support by receiving subsidies from public funds for our goals.
The average age in Serbia is 42.9 years old, which means our country ranks among the oldest populations in the world with an aging index of 139.5
According to the estimates of the Republic Bureau of Statistics, in 2016 there were 7,058,322 inhabitants in Serbia, of whom 19% were older than 65 years.
In Belgrade, people over the age of 65 make up 22% of the population, and the average age is 41.8 years. In the municipality of Vracar, where Bread of Life works, the average age is 44 years, and among women it is as much as 46.8 years old.
The Goal of the Program
- To improve the quality of life of the elderly through the provision of a licensed service Home Care, psycho-social support, and material assistance in the municipalities of Vračar and Zvezdara.
- To encourage the elderly to actively participate in the work of the Bread of Life club for the elderly, "Warm Corner", in the municipality of Zvezdara.
- To advocate for the rights of the elderly through the HumanaS network of which Bread of Life is a member.
- To offer support for families with demented members, and to advocate for the rights of people with dementia, and their family members (care givers), and to further develop the Network of care givers.
- Providing free Home Care service for a certain number of beneficiaries, which is made possible by our Donors, where the assistance is being implemented in municipalities of Zvezdara, Vračar and Rakovica. This support consists of buying and preparing food, and helping to maintain personal and home hygiene. In addition to these, the services of licensed social workers are provided to beneficiaries of Home Care service, so that the beneficiaries can get advice in the field of pension and disability insurance, as well as their rights at the Centres for Social Security and other public institutions. Our beneficiaries do not always have sufficient contact or knowledge about such institutions and their provisions;
- Psycho-social support. Informative and advisory support is offered for solving problems and exercising social rights; for dealing with immediate family members of our beneficiaries; for health monitoring (TA and Gl parameters), health education and observation; and to motivate our users to attend educational workshops. Psycho-social support also facilitates mediation with health and social institutions, and provides a special set of services, by a health and social carer, depending on the existing problems of our users;
- Providing regular monthly material assistance - assistance in terms of food and hygiene products; in the purchase of medicines and of orthopedic aids, etc .; assistance in paying electricity bills, and also in purchasing wood for the winter.
- Helping the elderly to be more active, in different groups according to their interests - culture groups, creative and educational groups, sports and recreation, and other workshops and popular events.
- Promoting active aging through trips, outings, excursions, visits to pensioners associations, nursing homes, theatres, participation in fairs and public events for the elderly and so on.
- Campaigning for the rights of the elderly through the HumanaS network and participating in their research, focus groups, round tables, seminars, forums and taking part in promotion of all important dates concerning the elderly in the community. Supporting members of HumanaS to actively pursue the establishment of the Dementia Network and the need for a register of demented members in the community, support for care givers of demented members, initiating the issue and need for the opening of a Day Care Centre for dementia, providing free diapers to those suffering etc.
- Furthering the development of the Dementia Family Support Network. You can find out more about this activityHERE
If you or someone from your community, needs a free licensed Home Care service, and you meet certain criteria, call Bread of Life at the following phone number 011 / 244-3540.