Baluchon Alzheimer: an idea developed in Canada and spreading throughout Europe

Usually families prefer to care for Alzheimer sufferers at home for as long as possible. A range of services giving carers a break, such as day-care centres or a few hours respite care, have been in existence for some years. But when carers need a few days physical and mental rest, the only service on offer is temporary shelter, usually offered by long-term care centres, but this is a very stressful solution for Alzheimer sufferers. This provided the impetus behind the creation of the Baluchon initiative, intended to provide the patient’s relatives with a complete break for a week or two without having to move their relative out of his or her home. A trained volunteer comes to the home to care for the patient while the family is away.

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The Long-term Care Further Development Act in Germany.

Thanks to the Long-term Care Further Development Act which took effect in July 2008 in Germany, persons with care needs, and their relatives, can now get the support of a case manager, which, as a central point of contact, provides counselling and advice and coordinates the entire spectrum of care on behalf of the persons in need of care. Furthermore, the law foresees the establishment of close-to-home care support centres in the Länder.

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Review of benchmarks and indicators in active and healthy ageing activities.

In the November 2009 conclusions of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), Member States committed to strengthen their cooperation and coordination in the field of LTC to promote a healthy and dignified ageing. The Commission invited them to review ongoing activities in the field of healthy and dignified ageing, including existing work on benchmarks and indicators, and if appropriate, come forward with an action plan for further activities in 2011, which will promote dignity, health and quality of life for older persons.29 It remains to be seen now how this will be incorporated in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

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