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Seminar on Care for Family Members 5 March 2015

On March 5th, 2015 the Ministry of Welfare of Latvia hosted a seminar on family care issues. This seminar was the last one within the project “Latvia: Developing a Comprehensive Active Ageing Strategy for Longer and Better Working Lives”. Participants of the seminar were introduced with the general overview of family care issues, main challenges and possibilities in Latvia and Poland.

“Child care support and child minders service in Latvia: social context, target groups, financial support and legal framework” – presented by Maksims Ivanovs, Ministry of Welfare of Latvia  

  • Research “On effectiveness of child care benefit and preferable payment periods” (2002, Latvian University) results showed that 42% of parents have real risk to lose a job after child care leave.
  • Research “On inclusion of parents into the labour market after child care leave” (2007, “ITA Consulting”) results showed that one of the most significant factors, which disables parents to return into the labour market after child care leave, is the lack of availability of municipal pre-school educational institutions (long waiting lists) and insufficient coverage of private child care and child-minders services (small amount and high prices).
  • Public polls (2012, SDPC, SKDS) showed that more preferable form of state support for families with small children is availability of state financed pre-school educational services or subsidized child care services.
  • Research carried out by the State Regional Development Agency and Baltic Institute of Social Sciences (2009) established that alternative child care services (day care centres, child-minders services, babysitters and nannies, private kindergartens) are the most effective forms of state funded child care services.
  • Weak points of Latvian early childhood education and care system before 2013:
  • low availability of municipal pre-school educational institutions (long waiting lists);
  • high expenses using private pre-school educational services and lack of municipal support;
  • deficiency of professional alternative child care services;
  • big proportion of illegal sector – in a lot of cases babysitters or nurses who are employed illegally are not qualified for work with small children.
  • According to the provisions in the Education Law (2011) local governments shall ensure equal access to pre-school educational services for all children at the 1.5 – 5 years of age in their administrative territory.
  • Local governments have been dealing with long waiting lists for municipal pre-school educational institutions due to the lack of infrastructural base and intensive inter-regional migration.
  • As of 2013, local governments started to provide monthly private child care allowance of 70-260 EUR to the children on the waiting lists for municipal pre-school educational institutions.
  • Kekava municipality created nannies database and organized training courses for nannies and provided municipal support programme for children who are on the waiting list.
  • Pilot project ‘’Child care support and child-minders service’’:
  • pilot project includes financial support (paid directly to the private service provider) to parents whose children are not benefiting from municipal child care services in such a way shortening waiting lists and promoting parents employment;
  • amount of children on the waiting lists for municipal pre-school educational institutions has reduced by 22% (by 32% in Riga);
  • 1,400 registered child minders;
  • in 2014 8,347 families received state support.

”Social services for seniors in Latvia’’ – presented by Aldis Dudins, Ministry of Welfare of Latvia

  • Seniors aged 60+ form 25% of Latvian population (January, 2014).
  • Law on Social Services and Social Assistance is based on the following principles:
o    initiative by the claimant;
o    duty to pay for service;
o    evaluation of the individual needs;
o    responsibility of state and municipalities;
o    prioritization of services provided at the place of residence;
o    rights to appeal.
  • Social services for seniors:
o    home care – provided by 58 municipalities, 9 477 clients (increased from 5 410 clients in 2010);
o    83 long-term social care institutions (municipal, private, NGO) – 4 902 clients;
o    safety buttons (municipality);
o    day centres (municipality);
o    shelters (municipality);
o    social rehabilitation for disabled seniors (state);
o    technical aids (state);
o    personal assistance for disabled seniors (state/municipality).
  • Challenges in social services provision:
o    aging society;
o    insufficient resources;
o    proportion of institutional log-term care too high compared to community based services;
o    lack of availability of services close to the place of residence;
o    quality and variety of services;
o    cross-sectorial coordinator, especially with health care services.
  • Future prospects:
o  development of community based social services as a part of local municipalities development strategies;
o    promoting development of sustainable social services;
o    deinstitutionalization – decrease number of clients in long-term care institutions.

“Active ageing and home care in the Malopolska region, Poland’’ – Alicja Boryczko, Malopolska Region Regional Policy Department

  • Malopolska region’s population is 3.36 mln and several parts of it faces challenges related to population decrease and ageing.
  • Development strategy of the Malopolska region for 2011 – 2020 covers area environmental, health and social safety, which deals also with active ageing issues related to economy, labour market and social services.
  • Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 includes following objectives - supporting dependent people and their families, improving quality and accessibility of health and care services, rehabilitation services, providing training for family assistants and young children carers, developing day care units for elderly people etc.
  • ADAPT2DC Project (2011-2014) – innovative solutions to adapt public infrastructure and services to demographic change.
  • Silver Economy Handbook – a comprehensive and multi-dimensional system of support to the informal carers of the elderly with a goal to guarantee proper care in the place of residence, increase carer’s competencies, improve care quality and allow the longest possible life in the home environment.

“Novel ICT-based products and services in elderly care’’ – presented by Renate Lukjanska, eCare Solutions

  • e-Care Solutions is a branch of Norwegian IT company that focuses on development of user friendly and functional software solutions for the health sector.
  • Two main solutions – Inclusion Society and eCare@Home.
  • Inclusion Society – proactive preventative health care solutions, giving to healthcare responsible parties (doctor, nurse) an opportunity to detect and address any downward trend in the elderly health before the acute healthcare necessity.
  • Inclusion Society impact:
  • for the public: cost saving towards elderly care services;
  • for end users (elderly): the improvement in quality of life by increasing well-being and security that they are connected;
  • for the providers: health service providers will obtain closer contact with the elderly people at home, possibly reducing the need for direct personal contact.
  • eCare@home – tablet-computer delivered assistance solution for older adults with mental disorders
  • eCare@home focus:
  • self-tracking to detect patterns in mood, activities and sleep;
  • online support from formal and informal carers through email, instant messaging and video-conferencing;
  • psychoeducation on disease management, medication, social activities.
  • eCare@home solution aims to be cost effective, contribute to the governments’ budgets by reducing costs of hospital services. Service is similar to mobile phone industry – hardware is provided for free in return for a fixed service contract
  • Challenges:
  • translating clinical practice to requirement of software development;
  • different people, different needs;
  • no or limited access to electronic health records;
  • medical device regulations.

Central Baltic Sea region INTERREG IV co-operation programme project “Innovative solutions for elderly people home care introduction research project results’’ – presented by Liga Priede, P. Stradins Medical College of the University of Latvia

  • P. Stradins Medical College of the University of Latvia joined Innocare project on innovative solutions at home care in 2011:
  • in the first stage of the study research team conducted a survey about the possible risk factors influencing safety of elderly during their daily activities. Respondents were from Cesis and Ape regions and included local authorities, “Home Care” clients and social care workers;
  • in the second stage of the project study programme was prepared;
  • in the third stage analysis and evaluation of the results were conducted.
  • During research clients were offered following services and products – safety button service, telephone with alarm button, medicine dispense box, smoke detector.
  • Research results:
  • both clients and local authorities feel safer when innovative care solutions (Safety Buttons, Medicine Dispense Box, Optical Smoke Detector) are being used.
  • innovative care solutions allow older people to stay for a longer period in their habitual environment.
  • all respondents are ready to use innovative solutions if these are available free of charge.
  • it is important that new technology is user friendly and reliable.

“Practical solutions for family members’ care” – presented by Andris Berzins, Samaritan Association of Latvia

  • Samaritan Association of Latvia is educational institution, charity organization, social service provider and health care institution.
  • Samaritan Association of Latvia provides home care: social home care, medical home care, emergency home care, transportation for disabled, Samaritans mobile care complex.
  • One of the ways of providing support at home is assistance with specially equipped cars with autonomous power generator, a shower with hot and cold water, toilet, gas stove, refrigerator, washing machine, specialized equipment for foot care and hair cutting.
  • Samaritan Association of Latvia is using ICT in care sector providing safety button service, using e-environment for needs assessment as well as care planning system.


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