From 27 to 29 September AGE attended the joint 20th International Long-Term Care Conference and 15th Congress of the European Association for Directors and Providers of Long-Term Care Services for the Elderly (EDE). The event took place in Torun, Poland, and was attended by about 1200 people from across Europe.
The conference reflected on the current challenges facing residential long-term care in Europe. Participating speakers agreed on the need to move towards a new generation of care homes where the needs and wishes of older people are fully respected. One of the key messages insisted on the importance for care homes to adapt to older persons and not the opposite.
Jiří Horecký, EDE President, gave a presentation on the relationship between the size of the care home and the quality of the care. He argued that size is no guarantee of quality and that services and care settings for older persons with care needs should reflect the diversity of older people’s preferences. In this sense, he said that some older people may prefer a small care home, while some others value very much the greater anonymity that they can get in a bigger care setting.
Romain Gizolme, from the French association of directors of care homes, presented the project Citoyennage which promotes the involvement of older Persons (living at home or in residential care centres) in issues that concern them (participative approach). The project built around the idea that older people with care needs remain subjects of rights and need to be able to express preferences and views. Citoyennage puts in place mechanisms through which older persons can express themselves.
The conference also included the presentation of a care home in Australia characterized by its ‘culture-friendliness’: staff, meals, cultural activities and decoration reflect the diversity of the residents’ cultural and ethnic backgrounds.