<!--[if gte mso 9]>
<![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]>
The "Help at Home" programme counts among the municipality's most important social care programmes. It was introduced as a pilot scheme in March 1988 in two areas of Athens (Gyzi and Sepolia) and, due to the exceedingly positive response of the local community, it became an "institution" and continues to provide primary care to Athens citizens. Since the scheme began operating at the Gyzi and Sepolia Friendship Clubs, some 1,000 cases have been documented and more than 680 individuals have received assistance.
Following the successful Pilot Phase, the programme was extended to include all 7 City Districts, with the creation of 7 new units which operate in the same fashion.
The "Help at Home" programme is directed toward senior citizens who cannot look after themselves fully, as well as individuals with mobility difficulties and other problems. Priority is given to those who live on their own, or do not have family members who can care for them, or those whose income cannot cover basic needs to ensure quality of life.
The aim of the programme is to improve the quality of life of senior citizens and individuals with mobility difficulties or other disabilities, assist in ensuring care recipients live an independent and dignified life, support their family environment and promote the abilities of qualified, specialized staff.
The programme provides counselling and psychological support, nursing care, family assistance and companionship.
The programme involves specialised, well-organised teams of four individuals per unit which comprise a social worker, nurse and two family assistants. Each team has the support of a doctor who provides general medical services and advice, where necessary.
The social worker oversees the beneficiaries, evaluates cases, provides social support and maintains contact with competent agencies, making referrals where needed.
Care recipients have access to primary healthcare services provided by the programme's nurse who conducts home visits in order to check the state of vital organs, write pharmaceutical prescriptions and escort the individual to hospital for specific examinations.
At the same time, the programme's family assistant is responsible for undertaking various duties, providing senior citizens with basic items and cleaning the individual's home. Family assistants also offer an additional service, which is probably the most important in the eyes of these individuals, namely, companionship, which illustrates the programme's social nature.
For further information on the programme, contact the City of Athens Development Agency on telephone 210 5201611.