“Grandma and Grandpa with Class” and “Respite Care Package” are only two out of the four social innovations appreciated by the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę”. This association has invited organisations and people with specific ideas on how to improve the quality of life of the elderly and dependents, as well as their carers, to cooperate.
The progressing ageing of society requires smart social innovations. And hence the need to support them. The majority of the 150 applications received by “ę” focused on the establishment and strengthening of bonds, often intergenerational ones. And it is relationships and support networks that are the best recipes for a good and self-reliant old age.
"We have helped these initiatives to develop by testing them in practice", said Karolina Śmigiel, the coordinator of the “Innovation generator. Support networks” project.
"A total of 28 initiatives have been selected for testing. Each of them was granted PLN 20-50 thousand to test their ideas. Only four ideas with the highest potential were qualified for the final stage of the project and are going to be promoted all over Poland. We would like them to become a part of system solutions", explained Karolina Śmigiel.
The first one is entitled “Grandma and Grandpa with Class”, in which seniors join in the life of school communities. During the Occupational Therapy Workshops, people with mental disabilities taking part in “Therapeutic Dinners” prepare meals and provide them to seniors. The “Respite Care Package”, in turn, offers psychological support and rehabilitation for carers of elderly people. The fourth initiative is entitled “Reminiscence Theatre”. The test results of this method at the Alzheimer Centre are amazing – people who could not speak started to make sounds and articulate words.
Senior citizen monitoring:
- over 1.3 million elderly people need care
- the work performed by families and friends helping seniors is estimated to equal to 250 thousand full-time jobs
Source: Polish Central Statistical Office
The “ę” Association provides access to the programme of each of the projects, as well as educational materials, cost estimates, forms and even specimen agreements.
"We are happy to help in project implementation free of charge. We can come, provide support in recognising the needs of a given community, and advise on how to launch a project step by step", encouraged Marta Białek-Graczyk, the President of the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę”.
Knowledge Education Development Programme
European Social Found
Innovation generator. Support networks
approx. PLN 2.75 million, including approx. PLN 2.6 million from the European Social Fund