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Anton Trstenjak Institute
Publications / Quality of Old Age Back

VOLUME 7, NUMBER 3, 2004

Family care of disabled old people in Slovenia
Simona Hvalič Touzery

The author discusses family care of elderly people in Slovenia. This topic is neglected and overlooked by Slovenian social policy. Family carers - mainly women - of old people are not officially acknowledged for the role they perform. Due to the lack of interest for this issue in Slovenian political and expert circles, the information on such care are scarce. This article gives a review of the cognitions acquired from the existing data on family care in Slovenia.

Key words: family care, family carer, old person, social policy, Slovenia

An old person in a modern family
Jože Ramovš

More than three quarters of old people spend their old age until their death in the family environment. However, modern family is facing, apart from advantages, also severe obstacles towards good relations with an old family member and his care: they have little time and poor material conditions and they are not trained for good intergenerational relations and communication. The aspirations for placing old people into massive institutions for elderly people are rapidly increasing, for it is difficult to satisfy the need for interpersonal relations. This article analyzes the problems, and describes the experiences of the Anton Trstenjak Institute with the programmes for training family for better relations with an old family member as well as the idea of implementing placement and care for elderly people in so-called "foster families". They aim to develop through the experimental project, the model of foster family that will unite some major advantages of family and institutional care for elderly.

Key words: elderly, family, adult foster care for old people, intergenerational relations, communication skills

Help and support to demented patients and their relatives in the light of the activities of the association "Forget-me-not"
Branka Mikluž

Forget me not Alzheimer,s Disease and Related Disorders Association of Slovenia is non-governmental organisation that organises different activities, aimed at assisting and supporting patients with dementia and their family members, professionals, lay caretakers, and all those who are professionally or privately interested in the field of psychogeriatrics. The activities of the Association are supported by the Psychiatric Hospital Ljubljana. Through its programmes the Association wishes to actively contribute to the process of forming modern treatment strategies for patients with dementia and their family members within the concept of modern healthcare and social security system. In this article the work of the telephone counselling line Spominčica (Forget me not), the educational programme Ne pozabi me (Do not forget me), and the self-help group of family members of patients with dementia are presented. The article presents the most important results of the surveys, performed within the frameworks of individual activities.

Key-words: dementia, family members, education, couselling, self-help

Being close to the old person through a severe disease and dying
Majda Brumec

The author discusses the basic tasks an elderly person should do before her death, her relationship and acceptance of the disease and the problems that the family carer of an elder person has to face. The author emphasizes, based on her personal experiences while accompanying a dying woman in an old people’s home, the importance of including the patients' family in the care when an elderly person is dying in an institution. The second part of the article deals with the activities of the Slovenian society Hospic in caring for the ill and dying family members.

Key words: family care, elderly person, dying patient, hospice, palliative care in hospice

Family Carers in Germany: A national profile on current issues and future challenges
Martha Meyer

In Germany families are still the most important care-givers; but due to demographic developments and social shifts in society future generations will be involved to a much lesser degree in family care-giving than at present. These trends will be intensified in the future because it can be expected a decrease in the family care-giving potential with increasing trends in female employment rates and an increase in single-households. At the same time it is estimated a growing number of older people in need of care.

In Germany currently (2001) the proportion of > 60 year-olds amounts 24,1 % and the > 80 year-olds is 3,9 % in the total population. Until the year 2030 it is estimated a proportional increase of > 60 year-olds up to 34,4 % and the proportion of the > 80 year-olds up to 7,3 %. In this context the supply and demand for care and care work has to be addressed in the light of declining numbers of children, an increase in the number of one-person-households, more equal workforce participation between men and women, growing numbers of older people living alone without children in private homes, and their emerging preference for formal services -possibly linked to the disappearance of family care resources.

Key words: family carer, care-giver, mixed care-arrangements, care resources, self-help-potential

Elderly care provided by foreign immigrants: lessons from the Italian case
Marco Socci, Maria Gabriella Melchiorre, Sabrina Quattrini, Giovanni Lamura

The following article discusses the informal care of elderly people with the emphasis on the care provided by immigrants. Italian experiences of elderly care provided by immigrants are extremely diversified, therefore this phenomenon is not easy to decipher. The authors present the results of the survey among primary family caregivers. One of the aims of this study has been to obtain more knowledge on the opinions expressed by family caregivers with regards to the employment of foreign assistants for various caring activities.

Key words: elderly, informal care, immigrants, Italy, survey data, caregivers

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