SOS for the senior citizens
empowerment of vulnerable groups
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 31-10-2022
Project cost:
74 890,00 EUR
74 890,00 EUR
Types of activities:
educational activities, self-advocacy, creating a support network for people at risk of exclusion / community work / inclusive actions
Target groups:
caregivers of dependent persons, elderly, volunteers

The project addresses the problem of loneliness and lack of support for people over 60 and for carers of dependent people. In Poland, many seniors face chronic illness, poverty, digital exclusion, lack of contact with people and lack of support, which negatively affects their physical and mental health (Wiosna Association, 2020). On the other hand, carers of dependent people often give up their careers and passions because of their caring role. Unfortunately, systemic support is scarce. There is a huge gap between the demand for family care for seniors and care resources, which are disproportionately low for the growing needs. Various forms of social assistance cover only about 2% of seniors in need.
The project brought together seniors and young volunteers to create five intergenerational senior care networks. Networks were established in Bochnia, Kraków, Maków Podhalański, Oświęcim and Wojanów. Teams of volunteers (more than half of whom were of senior age) supported seniors and – indirectly – their carers by assisting them with daily activities (shopping, delivering meals, light housework, going for walks, liaising with authorities, helping with electronic equipment) and by spending active time with them (e.g. in cooking and handicraft workshops, trips to museums, theatres and cinemas or on excursions). Volunteers had previously taken part in leadership workshops and training on the specifics of working for seniors and in a course on caring for seniors, as well as benefited from coaching. A group of self-advocates, made up of carers of dependent persons, benefited from coaching and counselling and then developed a set of postulates for municipalities on systemic support for this social group.
The project has had a positive impact on the psychological wellbeing of both the senior citizens and the carers of dependent people (almost 300 people in total). For both groups, feelings of loneliness and alienation have decreased, their quality of life has improved, their sense of security has increased and new relationships have been formed. Young people have developed their social skills and sensitivity to the needs of seniors and their carers through training and involvement in volunteering.

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