Tackling domestic violence, empowerment of the elderly and qualifications in care and nursing were at the core of the reflections of the AER Committee on Health and Social affairs
A seminar on domestic violence, with the participation of NGOs, universities, foundations, lawyers, the police and the media, opened the session of the AER Committee on Health and Social affairs on 23rd and 24th May 2002 in Timisoara (County Timis/Romania). Case studies from Romania, Great Britain, Yugoslavia, Belgium and Norway provided comprehensive evidence on the reasons for and multiple aspects of domestic violence: deficits in legal frameworks, making victims aware of their rights and assistance in enforcing them, raising public awareness, victim protection, resources for financing public programmes, factors generating violent behaviour, prevention. The conclusions of the Seminar were addressed in the form of a resolution to the AER who will continue to work on the issue, including alcoholism and drugs, in a specific working group.
Demography and the impact of ageing populations on a number of settings (financial sustainability of healthcare and social security systems, consequences for the nursing and caretaking sector and the labour market in general, necessity to adapt professional profiles and qualifications, mobility) were an important issue in the plenary meeting of the Committee on Social and Health affairs. The results will be taken account of in the preparation of the 2nd European Conference of Regional Ministers for Health and Social affairs which will discuss “The setting of EU standards concerning professional qualifications in the field of elderly care” on 8th November 2002 in Milan.
The Committee also received the final report of the Services and prevention for the elderly project, entitled “Good quality of life for Elderly People”. The aim of the project had been to improve home care services and prevention of accidents among the elderly. The joint effort of Regions from Finland, Sweden, Romania, Greece and Estonia, with the co-financing of the European Union, has generated new concepts, practical solutions and the development of new appliances. These include among others safe housing design for the elderly, new day care centers for elderly in Romania, Estonia and Greece, solutions to reduce the social isolation among the elderly and hip protectors to prevent fractures.
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