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Empowering Socially Excluded Elderly within Russian Minority in Estonia and Finland (EMEL)
Date du début: 28 févr. 2009, Date de fin: 30 oct. 2011 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The population of EST and FIN is ageing rapidly - the proportion of people aged 65 and over in EST has grown from 13,7% to 17,1% and in FIN from 14,3% to 16,4%, in the past 10 years. Therefore the health and social sectors in both countries face many difficulties. The need for health and social services grows quickly, because the age-related difficulties that elderly face worsen their coping with everyday life. Many studies have shown that problems arising, in addition to poor health and material problems are sense of powerlessness, helplessness, low self-esteem and self-efficiency. Although there has not been any special researches conducted in FIN and EST concerning the situation of the elderly within Russian minorities (as the biggest minorities in both countries), one can predict that their situation is even worse than the natives, due to the language and cultural barriers (problems with receiving local info targeted for elderly, because they live mainly in Russian media space; number of activisation services (e.g. hobby groups) offered in Russian is very limited etc). Different studies have shown, that elderly people could manage on their own better, if they had received preventive information about how to cope with different problems that arise together with ageing and how to use self-care strategies in order to cope on their own (without external help of care workers or relatives) as long as possible. Self-care strategies can be useful method to change old people from passive health and social sector clients into active and empowered individuals with positive self-image. Therefore the main idea of the current project is to develop and promote jointly a model, based on self-care theories, for empowering socially excluded elderly within Russian minority in EST and FIN. The benefit arising from the use of the model is two-sided: elderly will learn how to cope without external help as long as possible and load on the social and health care sectors decreases. The main expected outcomes of the current project are: a model for empowering socially excluded elderly within Russian minority in Finland and Estonia; cross-border training programme for elder care activists (e.g. from elderly day centers), for introducing the empowering model; handbooks for Russian elderly concerning the use of the model and self-care strategies in everyday life; information materials and articles for different target groups (e.g. home care workers, relatives). Achievements: The EMEL project increased the well-being and active participation in society of elderly people of the Russian minority living in Finland and Estonia. "The EMEL project created and promoted a model for empowering socially excluded elderly within the Russian minority in Estonia and Finland. The work was started by interviewing focus groups and compiling a report on the main needs and problems of the Russian elderly. EMEL also provided training to geriatric care practitioners, home care workers and the elderly within the Russian minority. Through the use of the model, the elderly receive information and strategies on how to cope without external aid for as long as possible."



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