'Bras Dessus Bras Dessous' is a network of citizens based on solidarity, currently in pilot phase in Forest (Brussels, Belgium). It aims at connecting isolated or vulnerable older persons with neighbours willing to dedicate some time and attention to them on a one-off or regular basis.
The final goals are to:
- Reduce older residents’ loneliness and social exclusion in enabling them to get involved in the community
- Make the neighbourhood more dynamic
- Keep the older person at the core of the life of the district, foster his/her empowerment
- Involve the older person in the decisions that concern him/her
- Foster independent living at home for longer (for persons who wish it)
- Support informal carers
In order to reach those goals, the non-for-profit association proposes different types of support:
- Building a network of united neighbours to bring assistance to the older persons:
- Punctually: logistic support, lift to a medical appointment, etc
- Regularly: have a tea, a walk, send a postcard, give a phone call, some shopping, etc
- Follow-up and possibly liaising with the different actors involved in caring for the person
- Providing information to the older persons on activities, senior organisations and assistive services available and refer them to the adequate services if they wish.