During the project, several training events were organized, to allow the dissemination of information, knowledge and best practices among the partner countries.
In the 4th month of the project, 11 participants have attended in a 5-day short term joint staff training event in Romania-Craiova (5 days without a trip). Within 5 days, we have visited: residences for the elderly, Vasiliada Association
(one of our associate partners) and Caminul pentru persoane Varstnice Craiova (our project partner residence for elderly). There were indoor and outdoor activities, including working groups using trainers in the field.
The training has focused on:
- innovative therapies for the elderly: dance therapy-training held by university associate professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Ms. Germina Cosma, who facilitated an interactive session of dance and easy movement, adapted for people who no longer have high physical capacity);
- occupational therapy- art therapy training held by art professor Alexandra Cleoant-with more than 20 years of experience;
- methods of avoiding depression for both the elderly and carers (held by a psychologist from CPCV), volunteering and other creative activities inspired by day care centers (created for self-employed and semi-autonomous elderly persons)-held by social worker Erica Keller and other social worker from Asociatia Vasiliada-the NGO with highest number of social services accredited in Oltenia region;
- Health care for elders with Dementia (dr. Laurenia Panduru, from CPVC, who gave a lot of practical examples from own experience as a professional in the field);
- Interactive methods for trainings involving elderly participants (psih. Viorica Simion-who works both with teenagers from CJRAE and also with adults and seniors as a former HR Manager in many major companies);
The specialists who participated in the training were psychologists, social worker, sports instructors, teachers. In the last day a debriefing has been organized, in order to fix the knowledge and reflect upon the practical ways to use new information gained.
In the 7th month of implementation, in April 2019, 16 participants have joined a 5 days short term joint staff training event in Barcelona, Spain (for 5 days without the travel). All partners were represented there. The topics of the training were, as it follows: social integration activities for the elderly, namely, how to provide social care practitioners and trainers with knowledge and tools to enable the elderly to remain active, dynamic, physically and mentally energized. Within 5 days, Demà organised a panel of diverse activities, mixing visit field, debates, working groups, trainings, exchange of good practices of the best providers in the elderly sector. The centres for the elderly we have visited were: Fundacio Salarich Cardener (which managed a residencia in Bagà), Residence Santa Olivia (in Olesa de Montserrat), Center of Santa Eulalia and the Elderly Daily Centre of Santa Eulàlia. We had the opportunity to learn about – new assistive equipment in transportation of elders, therapy with pet animals or new ideas of encouraging autonomy by choosing own design, furniture etc before accommodation (in Baga residency); level of involvement of community (mixing kids activity with elders), level of human resources involvement using internships – foreign students (Elderly Daily Centre of Santa Eulàlia) etc. We also met providers of professional education in social assistance and training authorities such as ACRA (Associació Catalana de Recursos Assistencials=Catalan Association of Healthcare Resources), during this visit we have found relevant the proactivity of this association which provided training for more than 300 private and public institutions in Spain. We have also visited Fundació Pasqual Maragall: Center for Research on Alzheimer's disease and Grouping of Classrooms for Permanent Training for the Elderly of Catalonia, both being examples of good practices for scientific research and innovative ways for involving the community (in terms of financial support and volunteering as subjects of the prevention and diagnosis research projects). We have also found out about Gestimul, Gesguard and Orienta programs – a large program for prevention of diminishing of cognitive function among autonomous elders. Indoor and outdoor activities were carried out, including energizing working groups and other initiatives aimed at making learning more attractive and effective. The activities were carried out also using theatre therapy performed with a working group where actors, trainers and elderly were invited. The trainers were part of DEMA, another part invited from its network, specialized in instructional design, social assistance professionals or training managers (e.g, Josep de Martí: Talk about the Social Services of Catalonia, Jofre Fuguet: Talk about Gestimul program etc). Also, the authorities were presented, for example, during presentation made by Maria Angeles Sariñena, Counsellor for Senior Citizens of the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, followed by many visits to different Elderly Centres (called Casals). The participants had the opportunity to notice the high degree of autonomy of Casals, which functioned as NGOs supported by local councils in what concerns the logistics (space, equipment) but the flow of the activities, the fundraising, the daily administration were in the responsibility of elderly themselves who were members of these Casals. Participants were able to learn a wide range of ideas and working methods, which are less represented in countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, at least at this moment.
In July 2019, 15 participants joined a 5-day joint staff training event in Rende, Italy (5 days without a trip). The participants who represented the partner organizations, as follows: 4 participants from the Global Help-Romania Association, 5 participants
from DEMA-Spain, 4 participants from Home Hope Ltd-BG, 2 from the Home for Elderly People from Craiova-Romania. The first days were dedicated to training in the use of ITC tools in learning in the field of social care, how to support the social care worker to
use ITC in his learning and to facilitate the use of specific devices for the elderly, to increase their comfort. More specifically in the training topics covered were: Good practices to create an e-learning course: STET platform and other examples, how to
implement an e-learning course, How to create multimedia learning objects, Gamification: a new engaging ap-proach, Workshop gamification methods. The trainers were part of Euroform, spe-cialized in online learning, virtual practice communities and professionals
in this field.
The other days were dedicated to visits to relevant organizations that implement activities / projects in the field of elderly care.
Terra di Piero is the association from Cosenza, that conceived a project with the name "Parco dei nonni", always thinking of the little ones, but this time they also embrace grandparents. The grandparents' park will be created to combine the affection between grandfather and grandson, but to provide a welcoming and healthy place for those who, despite their old age, feel and are still active in the social sphere. On this basis, the will of the Cosenza association to create a place dedicated to them.
Another center visited was The Villa San Carlo rest house which was created with the intention of providing the best in the care and assistance sector for the elderly. A modern structure complete with all the facilities for promoting and improving the perfect model of stay for the elderly. Years of experience in this area allow Villa San Carlo to offer its patients stays in complete rooms with all the facilities of the hotel. The structure has adequate staff to assist guests daily with patient play, therapy, assistance and continuous monitoring.
In October 2019, the team organized a mobility during 6 days of physical mobility to the relevant organizations from Craiova and Oltenia region.
The 5 participants were from DEMA-Spain (3 persons) and Home Hope Ltd-Bg (2 persons). Mobility started with a visit to the Caminul pentru persoane varstnice (CPCV) who is a partner in the project and where the participants could take part in methods of relaxation and free time for the elderly people.At the Emergency Social Center for homeless persons "Sfântul Vasile" Craiova - the participants learned methods of integration in the society of the elderly.
Another center visited was the Social Assistance Center for Elderly People "Magnolia" Tg. Jiu, who use integrated social services methods for the elderly by carrying out activities in the socialization center but also at home care.
Also visited the House for the elderly in Râmnicu Vâlcea, where the participants participated with the specialists of the house in socio-recreational activities using methods and techniques in cognitive therapy. At CPCV-Home for Older People Craiova participants studied techniques of feeding and hygiene of the elderly.
In November 2019, the team organized a combined mobility that combined the virtual training with 6 days of physical mobility to the relevant organizations. The 12 mobility participants were from the partner organizations as
follows: 4 from Global Help-RO, 6 from CPVC (Craiova Elderly Home) -Ro and 2 from Home Hope Ltd-Bg. All the mobility was organized in A Corunia, where the organizations / institutions visited are relevant at this stage.
Thus, the participants took part in learning activities from organizations in the field of elderly care, where they learned: the behavior of the employees working with the elderly, the daily program, the internal rules.
At the meeting with the Social Assistance Service in Oleiros, the participants saw how the system is organized and took part in the procedures performed on the care of the elderly person at home (body hygiene procedures, feeding the elderly person with disabilities, administering drug treatment).
At the residential centers Domus Vi and at the Residencia Asistida de Oleiros Xunta de Galicia, the participants received information on the concrete way in which various types of services are organized. Each service coordinator shared from his experience and there were generated comparative discussions with those involved in similar services in the participating countries. This manner of work was considered extremely constructive and led to an improvement in the perspective of both parties. Also, we all participated in the way of various activities of leisure of the group of beneficiaries. At the Mimos Day Center and the Oleiros Day Center, participants took part in socialization, social reintegration, culturally educational, psycho-social activities: counseling and support, communication, transport of the elderly person.
Considering that the participants in this mobility were specialists in the social field, and especially in the care of the elderly, it was extremely useful to take part in the activities prepared by the DEMA partner.
In February 2020, 8 participants have joined a 6 days short term joint staff training event in Sofia, Bulgaria (for 6 days without the travel). All partners were represented there.
The program aims to help VET learners to integrate or reintegrate into the labor market, become familiar with the basics of the conditions, programs and organizations that implement, support and care for the social life of older people in Bulgaria.
The topics of the training were, as it follows: social integration activities for the elderly, namely, how to provide social care practitioners and trainers with knowledge and tools to enable the elderly to remain active, dynamic, physically and mentally energized.
Within 6 days, Home Hope organised a panel of diverse activities, mixing visit field, debates, working groups, trainings, exchange of good practices of the best providers in the elderly sector.
The centres for the elderly we have visited were: Official welcoming in Private Nursing home "Nadejda" which have two basies in Boyana and Malinova dolina and lecture on Elderly Care Realities in Bulgaria.
Then vissiting Visit Boyan Church ( UNESCO World Heritage List) and Bulgarian Historical Museum.
Winter Palace where we had opportunity to be part in Zumba class, Dance and a lot of Physical Activity for Elderly. Elderly workshop and we met providers (MVJ Sport) of sport activities especialy for eldrly people. Sofia free city tour.
We also visit Nadezhda Public House for the Elderly, a provider of social services not only for the elderly but also for people with dementia. There we got acquainted with the organization and procedures for the placement of the elderly, the programs and the social activities organized in the Public homes.
We also visited the "Chitalishte Iskra "- Community Center, which introduced us to the activities of these types of institutions, their work and their role in the social life of the elderly, the social programs and activities in which they participate and provide.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy was also so kind as to host and lead the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy to tell us about and present future projects and programs, along with the reforms and changes to be made to the law on social assistance until the end of the year. We had the opportunity to ask questions and inquiries in the field of social work, possible future collaborations and projects in which we can be useful each other in the future.
We also had the opportunity to visit Sofia University, where teachers and professors introduced us to the students' curriculum, their practices and theory, the subjects and faculties they have to provide a good social workers.
We were able to visit a state home for people with cognitive problems, and especially the blind. We were introduced to the director of the facility, the base and the conditions under which their patients were cared for and accommodated.
Last but not least we were able to gather and discuss all the useful practices, summarize and analyze the huge useful information we gathered for the short stay we had.