The Helppari and elderly care assistant activities are innovative, new types of multidisciplinary operations. They are delivered by employing long-term unemployed people or people otherwise in need of supported employment to assist elderly people in senior homes and in the homes of the elderly population. The services will rehabilitate the unemployed people towards employment and help the elderly in their daily lives, including medical and other daily tasks and household chores.
The most important thing is the time spent with the elderly people, talking, reading, playing games, or just being present. The starting point is the client’s own request for what they would like to do. Often the visit is the highlight of the week for the elderly person.
– Our service is free of charge for all elderly people. No training is required for those we employ, as we do not do any actual caring work. We only require basic everyday skills, good behaviour and, most importantly, the ability to treat the elderly with dignity. We often hire older unemployed people, thus giving them a valuable chance to have a meaningful period in working life before retirement,” says Helena Nurmikoski, Employment Officer of the City of Vaasa.
Around 100 long-term unemployed people are hired each year to provide the service. The operation is based on an agreement between the City of Vaasa’s employment services and the Pohjanmaa welfare region.
The award supports the development and appreciation of work with elderly people
Every year, the Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People and Ilmarinen nominate candidates for the Vuoden Vanhustyö Award every year. The prize is awarded to an organisation or project that has contributed in a positive or innovative way to the promotion of work with older people, developed an approach or method, or otherwise helped to improve the well-being of older people and to highlight the voice and experiences of older people themselves.
The prize is awarded on the basis of applications, and the award-winning project is selected by an evaluation panel of Ilmarinen and the Finnish Association for the Well-being of Older People. The aim is to support the development of methods and raise the profile of work with older people.
The Vuoden Vanhustyö Award was presented at the main national celebration of The Day of Older People in Iisalmi on 1 October. This is the sixteenth time the award has been presented, and the prize is worth €5,000.
– We are delighted to have received this recognition! It is a great privilege to do work that you love,” says Maarit Raukko, Service Manager of the City of Vaasa.
For more information on Helppari and the elderly care assistant activities (in Finnish): https://www.vaasa.fi/koulutus-ja-tyo/tyomahdollisuudet/vaasan-kaupungin-avoimet-tyopaikat/tyollistamispalvelut/