This programme provides professional assistance to people in Lithuania who privately take care of their family members at home.
no professional nursing care at home
Lithuania regained independence in 1990, but the authoritarian way of thinking lingers and distorts efforts to change. Before this initiative, there were no provision for in-home nursing care for patients with chronic illnesses, despite orders issued by the Ministers of Health and of Social Security and Labour (MSSL). Patients were mostly nursed by family members and did not receive any professional home nursing.
LAUNCHING A home care system
In 2011, under the leadership of the MSSL, the programme for managing change through innovation was initiated. Before the start, motivated nursing and social care professionals in the Municipalities were invited to discuss this social challenge and to develop the programme. In July 2012, the Integrated Care Programme was launched with the establishment of 70 integrated care teams (social workers, nurses, assistants, and physiotherapists) in 21 Municipalities. The goal was to develop a home care system for persons with long-term chronic illness, integrating social care and nursing, to enable informal caregivers to rest or to look for employment. The project was financed by the European Social Fund (ESF).
RESPITE FOR PRIVATE CAREGIVERS
The project exceeded the expectations by serving 1,172 patients and 1,005 family members in 2015. After the qualitative and quantitative evaluations, the Integrated Care Programme was upscaled for implementation in all of Lithuania's Municipalities. For the patients, the professional help at home improves their quality of life. For their caregivers, the programme gives them respite from caring duties and the possibility of gaining employment. Team members benefit from increased cooperation and coordination opportunities. The project will be continued in the period of 2016-2023 with 10.5 million EUR of funding from the ESF and a similar contribution coming from the Municipalities. Patients’ contributions will total about 2.7 million EUR. Since 2016, 1,247 nursing and rehabilitation specialists have been employed in the Integrated Care teams, and 2,758 patients and 2,997 caregivers were helped annually.