Liudmila Kravtsova, the leader, and the members of “Novoshag” (“New step”) initiative group are practicing Nordic walking. Belarus, Mogilev oblast, Gorki town. Photo by Evgeny Attsetski. The Belarus Red Cross Society.
Population aging is one of the most sustainable demographic trends. The number and proportion of older people in the world increases annually, and Belarus is not an exception. At the beginning of 2017 there were 1,996.7 thousands of older people in the country, or every fifth citizen. 37.4 % of them comprise people who are lonely or living alone (134.3 thousands and 612.8 thousands accordingly). The situation causes a growing demand for home-based medico-social services.
The Belarus Red Cross Society is the largest non-governmental organization in the republic providing medico-social home care by means of VNS. The work of the VNS needs further improving: increasing of services quality, implementation of new standards with due account of legislation changes, strengthening financial and organization sustainability. Current resources are not enough to provide medico-social home care to all who need it. Now HBC is provided free of charge only and for the most vulnerable people only. It is assumed that in the framework of the project HBC will stay chargeless for vulnerable, and paid HBC will be piloted for wider audience. Besides, it is planned to organize paid trainings on home based care with kinaesthetics elements and on first aid.
Modern approaches to HBC will be piloted in the regions:
— team work, which includes coordination and distribution of duties between a nurse, a junior nurse and volunteers and increases quality of services;
— case management – strengthening and institualization of local interaction between health care, social assistance providers and VNS using patient-centered approach.
Partnership with the SRC Marketing and Communication Department in project implementation will allow for technical and financial support of the BRC organisational development through elaboration and implementation of an evidence-based resource mobilisation strategy with a focus on internal resource mobilisation, as well as VNS rebranding for stronger professional positioning within the state system of medico-social services provision. It will contribute to sustainable VNS functioning.
Communities mobilization with focus on volunteer home-based care service will continue. Now 53 initiative groups uniting older people for cooperation and 14 IGs intended for health promotion operate in Belarus. Many IG members are VNS volunteers and help nurses to take care of beneficiaries. This experience will be systematized, enhanced and spread all over the country alongside with healthy aging concept promotion.
The project is the final stage of SRC support which has been provided to BRC for more than 20 years. It is expected that the project will result in BRC providing sustainable and efficient medico-social home care independent of external financing.