Mobile care program for elderly
People in Need Georgia in cooperation with Social Security Department of Zugdidi Municipality Gamgeoba is running since 2017 a successful project that involves a very vulnerable category: elderly people living alone.
The need for a special attention to be dedicated to single elderly people came from the local advisory committees that, with the support of People in Need, were established since may 2016 in four municipalities of Georgia: Tkibuli, Khoni, Gori and Zugdidi. The advisory committees bring together local officials as well as representatives from NGOs and their aim is to elaborate social inclusion strategies and this is what they did in Zugdidi putting a particular emphasis on problems of elderly people and service oriented to their needs.
The project Elderly Care Mobile Group
The project started in 2017 with the goal of building a warm, secure and decent environment for single old people by establishing a multidisciplinary mobile group and provision of home care services. The project's team purchased and equipped a vehicle and selected the members of the multidisciplinary group aimed at delivering services to beneficiaries.
The service foresaw the provision of home care services to single and lonely elderly people in Zugdidi municipality that experienced a strong need for care. Unfortunately, there wasn't an established home care program in place for the elderlies, which self-government representatives would carry out on their own; the project envisaged the introduction of an innovative formula of home-delivered care services that, with an eye-catching and well equipped yellow vehicle tours the territory targeting the elderlies, which were enthusiastic of having an home-delivered service for their needs. Thanks to ad hoc modifications, this vehicle brings basic, domestic, personal and health care services to people's doors and has onboard washing machine, agricultural tools, hygiene products and personal care services such as hair care, skin care, shower and bathing. It has been a great experience for all parts involved ( PIN, Municipality and beneficiaries) and now, the project will continue autonomously, without the support of People in Need which facilitated the ‘'Kick-Off Phase'' and now will withdraw giving the chance to Municipality to run the project alone.
"It was a very successful project," says Nana Kurashvili, Head of Programmes of People in Need Georgia.
"Since July 2017 a mobile care group started offering its services to elderly people. To travel around, the group used an orange van, very recognizable from beneficiaries. The van was equipped with a washing machine and even a small living room"
"The van is equipped with all the facilities required to perform field activities, " says Gogi Revia, Head of Social Department of Zugdidi Municipality
Ana Kochua, Project Coordinator of the Mobile Care Program for the Elderly says ‘' On board, there is a doctor offering medical services to the elderly people and a caregiver who maintains and cleans up their houses. It is a very important project because in Zugdidi there are more than 300 old people living alone".
Nana Kurashvili, Head of Programmes of People in Need Georgia also adds: "The number of elderly people in Georgia makes up to one-fifth of the total population. Among them, the number of lonely old people is quite big. The social system in Georgia is highly centralized, with just one-time cash disbursements available at the local level. Ultimately, it falls short to improve the living conditions of various vulnerable groups. Therefore, it is crucial for the social system to be oriented on care, focused on long-term systemic approaches which, in the end, is expected to improve conditions of these people, even in the long run."
Ana Kochua, Project Coordinator continues: " That's the main goal of our project: to bring together the local authorities and NGOs by means of a dialogue and afterwards, make their common vision, common goals oriented on care after the vulnerable groups."
Author: Irene Itria