Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 6 – September 2019
Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas
The number of older people is rising in all developed societies. Taking care of them is a tremendous challenge, especially in remote and rural areas. Our innovation is based on understanding the needs of older people living in remote communities of Northern Russia. The innovation is called “Foster family for lonely older persons” and suggests proactive identification and planning regarding older persons’ future needs: simplification of the design and delivery of services, and context-sensitive, social and cultural approaches to change their lifestyles and healthy habits.
It allows older people to stay and receive care in their local community, and avoids the relocation stress caused by moving to other areas. In this way, it acknowledges the benefits of an ‘ageing in place’ approach, recommended by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
- Recommendation 1. Introduce a tiered compensation mechanism with greater remuneration packages for caretakers who provide services to older persons with a higher degree of disability. The foster families can represent a more cost-effective way of providing care to older persons.
- Recommendation 2. Make sure that people know about the foster family initiative. Advertise the programme not only on the regional TV but also by radio and social networks to improve dissemination channels.
- Recommendation 3. The bureaucracy is what affects the sustainability of the foster family programme. Make sure to find the balance between ensuring the safety of this programme for the participants, providing support in a way that is not burdening the participants and collecting data despite resource constraints. This will require a tailored monitoring and evaluation package for various foster family types.
The Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 6 – September 2019 is now available.
You can download the policy brief here: Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas (pdf).
Learn more about our innovation from the references, or feel free to contact the authors:
Professor Elena Golubeva, NARFU, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova, University of Oulu, Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org