Natasa Todorovic, expert associate of the Red Cross of Serbia, spoke at two regional meetings last week, presenting the project “Addressing and preventing care needs through innovative community care centres (I-CCC)”, which the Red Cross of Serbia is implementing in partnership with the Austrian Red Cross, the Social Welfare Institute and partners from Montenegro. This project, supported by the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency, aims to contribute to the reform of the legislative framework related to long-term care services through the development, testing and public advocacy for social, innovative volunteer and community services for older persons in Austria, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia, and innovation refers primarily to work with people diagnosed with dementia, primarily from the older population, as well as with their informal caregivers.

The project was first presented at the IV Regional Social Academy of the IRIS network, organized by the Association “Na pola puta” from Pancevo. As the theme of this year’s academy was “Deinstitutionalization and development of community services for different users (children, persons with disabilities, older persons), the presentation of the I-CCC project was part of the presentation of good practices on the second day of the meeting, October 21, and was of great interest to participants from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Albania. The goals of the project were presented, such as:

  • Promotion of perception
  • Improvement of concentration
  • Improvement of attention
  • Promotion of associative thinking
  • Promotion of short-term memory
  • Enhancement of long term memory
  • Enhancement of language skills
  • Promotion of logical thinking and problem solving
  • Encouraging creativity and imagination
  • Increasing range of motion

The second meeting was held in Vrnjacka Banja and online, organized by the Special Hospital Merkur and within the project Social Innovation for Integrated Health Care of Ageing Population in ADRION Regions (SI4CARE). During this meeting, Natasa Todorovic presented the project as part of a broader presentation on the work of the Red Cross of Serbia aimed at protecting and preserving mental health, first showing activities related to psychological first aid and psychosocial support related to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and then presenting in more detail innovative work within the project. This work includes special exercises with persons diagnosed with dementia, through which they are led by trained volunteers using a digital mobile application created by the Joanneum Research Institute in Austria. The purpose of these exercises is to slow down the development of dementia and mitigate its effects, and within the project, volunteers will also provide support to informal caregivers of persons diagnosed with dementia in order to reduce the risk of burnout and abuse.

Agenda