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Home Care Services
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Provision of Home Care services by Independent Living Associates

The purpose of home care service for persons with mental disability and mental health disorders is to help them meet their basic everyday needs, at their own homes, in order to improve or maintain their quality of life and prevent or postpone residential care. Home care is provided in cases when a user (and-or his/her family) needs support, in accordance with identified individual needs of persons with mental disability and mental health disorders. All the services provided are directly or indirectly related to meeting the user's needs. All of the services are provided at the user’s own home. The sub-activity cluster 3.3 ''Provision of home care services'' is an essentially important component which directly prevents placement of a user at the institution (residential care) and facilitates his/her stay at his/her natural environment.

Home care services includes: Assistance in housework and household maintenance; Assistance in nutrition, including, on as needed basis: purchase of groceries, preparation of light meals, preparation of refreshment beverages; Assistance in maintenance of user’s personal hygiene (including, where needed: assistance in dressing and undressing, washing, bathing, combing hair, shaving, nail clipping); Providing services of laymen care (which do not require trained medical nurse), on as needed basis: supervising medicine intake, assistance in walking and going to the toilet, simple massage, purchase of medicines prescribed by the doctor, taking the user to medical check-ups, and where necessary, ensuring the accessibility of primary health care; spending structured time with the user (talking, stimulation, simple exercises, walks). The detailed service package was broken down into three components:
  • Doing housework and household maintenance,

  • Personal hygiene and preventative health care services,

  • Services of psycho-social empowerment and enabling the user to choose and receive an optimum service, in accordance with his/her needs and during the time allocated for the geronto housewives.
Upon four-month initial project period, upgraded HC service started to involve providing service of Independent living associates to persons with mental disability and mental health disorders in Jagodina, Žabari and Ćićevac.

It is important to point out that Independent living associates is a new community service, with its own methods and techniques that only resembles Home Care. Classical HC is based on completing tasks that users cannot do themselves, while Independent living associates work on methodology that is focused on the development of users’ skills.

Explanations of introduced new term:

"Independent Living Associates" (home care activities – provided by "negovateljica-gerontodomaćica" (Serbian);In our Action services will be provided by "negovateljice-gerontodomaćice" (Serbian), whom we called "Independent Living Associates".

We intentionally introduced a new term for this staff, in order to avoid imperfect translations and connotations associated with them: e.g. "nurses" – partly connotes health services with specific meaning of care: in Serbia for years there have been disputes about the usage of terms "assistance" and-or "care" ("pomoć" and-or "nega"); "geronto housewife" – partly connotes elderly persons. We wanted in all aspects to emphasize the main idea in The Action – improving home care service through provision of a service better tailored to users' needs – including terminology which underlines an activist approach, i.e. activation of users' internal resources.