Organiser: Roure Foundation.
Collaborating organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.
Dates of implementation: 01/01/2018 – 31/12/2018.
Help in the home, a programme for elderly people that are socioeconomically vulnerable
The Ramon Molinas Foundation is collaborating with the Roure Foundation with the objective of improving quality of life for elderly people that are socioeconomically vulnerable. With targeted actions, Help in the home, based in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Vella in Barcelona, has a positive effect on the wellbeing of elderly people.
The programme, which sees to around a hundred people every week, provides support and services such as cleaning, preparing meals, assistance with personal hygiene or dispensing medication. It also offers accompaniment to the doctor, or to complete tasks or paperwork, and can also offer advice on these. Another aspect of the project is promoting active aging. Help in the home encourages participation and a link to sociocultural activities that strengthens neighbourhood networks. Finally, it provides emotional support in cases where people are suffering from loneliness.
After detecting the need for intervention, a social worker and a psychologist from the Roure Foundation interview the elderly person, in their own home, to evaluate their situation. After the evaluation, and bearing in mind their autonomy and their opinion, the staff members present a personalised proposal of actions and services.
A programme offering double social action
Help in the home also has a team of assistants from different backgrounds of social vulnerability. The Roure Foundation trains and equips five women with all aspects related to the care of elderly people. The organisation therefore helps them, too, to improve their own personal situations.
As for the elderly people assisted by the programme, their profile is very similar. The programme responds to the needs of vulnerable elderly people tha suffer from loneliness or isolation. They are 85 years old on average, with no relatives, live in precarious housing and often aren’t aware of the resources available to help them improve their situation.
Those assisted by Help in the home are people that have come from social services, from Primary Healthcare Centres or from other organisations.
The Roure Foundation, social action in Ciutat Vella
The Roure Foundation has worked Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, in the neighbourhoods of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera since 1992. With around 25 years of experience, the organisation understands the local area and the difficulties experienced by its inhabitants: the scarcity of housing, the aging population and the socioeconomic difficulties that people face every day. Given these circumstances, the objective of the foundation is to alleviate the basic needs of elderly people with economic difficulties and their families with its immediacy, solidarity and teamwork.
Apart from Help in the home, the Roure Foundation carries out a series of actions and projects. To provide food relief to disadvantaged groups, the organisation organises El Rebost Roure and Àpats en Família. While the El Rebost Roure provides food staples, Àpats en Família ensures a daily meal to people who cannot cook because they either don’t have the money, or because they don’t have a home whatsoever. The Roure Foundation also offers a shower service for people who need it.
The Roure Foundation also provides the Día Prisba Centre, a day care service for socioeconomically vulnerable elderly people who don’t have a support network. With space for 30 people, the centre helps elderly people to recover and maintain of their personal and social autonomy, preserving their link with the social dynamic of the area. The organisation also has a charity shop for clients for neighbours with financial difficulties where they can buy second hand, quality clothing at very cheap prices. Lastly, the Roure Foundation has a charity laundry, a washing service for social organisations, companies and individuals whose aim is to promote social and labour integration.
Responding to current needs with a view to future demographic changes
A study by the U.S. Census Bureau, an institution whose principal objective is to provide quality data about the population and the economy, recently warned about the growth of the percentage of the population who are older than 65. In 2012, when the global population passed seven billion people, 562 million people (around 8%) were 65 years old or more. Three years later, in 2015, this section of the population grew to 55 million people, reaching 8.5% of the total of the population of the planet. Keeping in mind the falling birth rate, the growth in life expectancy and the population pyramid, the agency predicts that the percentage of people over 65 will make up 16% of the world population by 2050. Europe is particularly significant, where the percentage will rise to 27.8% with respect to the total population.
At the same time, the Institute of Economic Studies stated that Spain has the third-highest number of people over 80 years old in Europe, behind Italy and Greece. The publication, created from the data from Eurostat’s paper Population: Structure Indicators, reveals that the average number of inhabitants over this age range has increased from 3.5% in 2001 to 5.1% in 2014. According to the projections extracted from the figures from the European office of statistics, the percentage could increase to 12.3% by the year 2080.
The old references denote that society faces a demographic change which requires important change in the areas of shared residences, integration and the wellbeing of elderly people. Changes which should help to alleviate current problems such as loneliness, the scarcity of resources and the lack of family support, with a view towards the increasing percentage of the population that will find themselves in this situation in the future.
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