Best practices – volunteering!

One of the best practices that has been successfuly implemented in Slovenia by our partner – Ljudska univerza Rogaska Slatina – is engaging seniors as volunteers to conduct different classes for seniors.

Older people have wide knowledge and huge experience, they are specialists in different areas and they have hobbies they want to share. Engaging in this type of volunteering brings a lot of benefits for the senior but also for the older audience who can strongly identify with the „teacher”. Retired people may feel needed again, they can find a sense of their life and above that encourage their peers to learn, to discover new thing or just to go out from home.

LURS „hires” older volunteers and let them organise meetings for seniors. Anton and Bernard are engaged, creative and positive volunteers who we should take an example. Anton runs sport classes for seniors cause he wants to be healthy but also wants other people to be more active. He is an expert in Nordic Walking so he takes his attendees for long walks at fresh air. Bernard is a retired policeman whose hobby is nothing else but … cooking. He wants to teach seniors how to cook tasty and healthy so he conducts culinary workshops. „I want to share my passion with others and because I have a lot of free time I decided to organise this workshops. There is nothing better than seeing people happy” said Bernard.

During pandemia Bernard organises culinary classes with his group online.

See how it looks like:)

https://www.facebook.com/ljudskarogaska/videos/616862989040832/UzpfSTE4MTE3MzgxNjA5MjY4OTo1Mjg1NDQ0NDEzNTU2MjM/

Communication is a skill that you can learn!

“Communication is a skill that can be learned. It’s like riding a bike or typing. If you only work on it, you can improve the quality of every part of your life very quickly. ” (Brian Tracy). Besides improving the quality of your life you can improve the quality of other – close to you – people’ life.

Age-related health problems can present a barrier to effective communication. Chronic conditions, such as dementia and hearing loss, as well as the effects of medication can complicate conversations and understanding. During periods of diminished lucidity, interactions can create a frustrating and seemingly helpless experience. However, there are techniques you can use to help facilitate interaction with older adults to create a communication-friendly environment.

Project partners’ recorded instructional videos:

“How to communicate with seniors'” https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2526670164243820

and

” How to talk to a senior about health “, https://www.facebook.com/goalerasmusplus/videos/388619642021392/

which contain simple tips that can help you to get communication skills.

Feel free to watch and learn:)

Seniors should practice sport at home!

Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, seniors should definitely isolate themselves so as not to risk their health. They should not leave the house unless they have a very good reason. In addition to these restrictions, they should remember to keep their body in good shape.

According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, people aged 18-64 should spend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You can divide it into 5 sessions of 30 minutes or longer. People over 64 years old have similar recommendations as to the length of activity during the week, but if health does not allow it, they should be as active as they can.

On the Internet you can find countless trainings dedicated to seniors. We also publish several exercises that can be performed (depending on the health options) by older people.

https://goal-erasmusplus.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Seniors-be-active-1.pdf

Dear seniors, we wish you a lot of health!

Few words about Good Practice Guide…

One of the project’s aim was to create a material that will help people who work with and for seniors to improve their competences and make seniors’ lives better . The guide is also dedicated to older people who can get knowledge and motivation to go out from their homes, meet with friends, become a student, start doing sport and eat healthy. Specialists from 5 countries have worked for several months on the good practice guide to present in the best way practical information. This material coveres topics related to seniors’ care services such as:

  • Physical activity,
  • Nutrition,
  • Volunteering,
  • Education,
  • Memory training.

The guide has been divided into chapters focused on the most important aspects of seniors’ lives and includs advices, tips, proper habits and best practices. This guide will be helpful in keeping up the good habits in seniors’ lives or changing the old habits into new, better ones.

This Guide is a tool for anybody who would like to make seniors’ lives better!

You are welcome to read it and use this knowledge!

Good Practice Guide: https://goal-erasmusplus.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Good-Practice-Guide-ENG.pdf

Inspiring workshops in Gdynia!

18 people (nutritionists, sport trainers, teachers, volunteers) from 5 countries met in Gdynia to raise their knowledge, strenghten competences and improve skills in working WITH and FOR seniors. During few days (2-7 February 2020) they discussed topics connected with seniors’ care services:

  • education,
  • physical activity,
  • nutrition,
  • volunteering,
  • memory training,
  • communication,
  • social care.

Day by day these enthusiasts from Portugal, Sweden, Romania, Slovenia and Poland worked hard to learn how to make seniors’ lives easier and better. They also shared their wide knowledge and experience to create the best methods of working with older people.

These 5-day workshops were full of inspirations, new ideas and deep reflection about aging. All participants went home with one mission: do their best to help seniors in all areas of their lives!

EduSenior – it’s never too late for studying.

Old age does not have to be a time of slowing down. It’s the perfect time to do something for yourself – learn something new that you didn’t have time for. Seniors should take care of their education, acquire new skills and broaden their horizons. They have predispositions and possibilities for this and, what is important, they can gain a lot from it. It’s never too late for studying!

Reasons why seniors should always keep learning:

  • Improve Self-Confidence.

Self-confidence can be influenced by two things; trust in yourself as well as your level of competence, which comes from knowledge, experience and the skills that you possess.

  • Fight Boredom.

Staying challenged helps fight boredom. Take every opportunity to enrich yourself and learn something new; take a course, read voraciously, watch TED conferences online or attend webinars in your field of interest.

  • Keep Your Brain Healthy and Your Mind Sharp.

Learning keeps your brain functioning at a high level. The brain is a muscle; continue to keep it in shape by giving it new challenges and opportunities for learning and growth. Mental facilities are best protected when they are used often and continued learning can slow the physical process of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Learn Practical Life Skills.

Besides the professional knowledge we acquire through school or work, it’s important that we learn practical skills such as handling our finances, improving our communication skills, as well as basic computer skills. Courses on these subjects and more are readily available online for students of any age!

  • Model Positive Behavior for grandchildren.

Set a good example for your grandchildren by letting them see you work hard at self-improvement and continuing your education. Working alongside each other towards individual goals will increase the chances that you both will be successful!

  • Learn for Leisure.

Take a course in a subject you enjoy such as cooking, photography, beading or writing. You never know what other interests you might discover!

  • Sleep More Soundly.

Just as when you exercise your body and it gets tired; when you exercise your mind, your mind gets tired. Give your mind a workout by studying a new subject!

  • Stay Healthy.

There are some not-so-obvious health benefits to learning. Becoming organized and practicing time management techniques can help reduce stress in your life. Learning the basics of nutrition may help you to make improvements your diet. Exploring health and fitness courses may inspire you to take better care of your body.

  • Make new friends.

Classes at the university are a great place to meet new, interesting people.

The most important thing is to make a decision to change: yes, I’ll try! This is the first most difficult step, but it is worth taking it, not out of obligation but only for your own satisfaction.

Universities of the Third Age are becoming increasingly popular and can be found in almost every major city. They offer a variety of activities, so seniors undoubtedly will find something for themselves.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2019 was an extremely busy year for project partners. Our team of experts worked with great commitment to implement all planned tasks aimed at improving the quality of services for the elderly. 😓

Over the past 12 months, the following activities have been implemented:


– international meetings of project partners,

– meetings of the Local Advisory Committees,

– educational workshops,

– educational materials,

– good practice guide – video,

– promotion and dissemination.


In the new year, we promise to do even more to make seniors’ lives better!🤞

Volunteering can transform senior’s life!

Being a volunteer can transform senior’s life – but not enough people know that yet. Volunteering can help to provide elder people with ways out of poverty, by giving them new skills and confidence, and aid social integration. This is of particular value to those who are most excluded from the labor market, such as people with disabilities, and especially the elderly.

There are many reasons for people not to volunteer. For older people, the barriers can include poor health, poverty, lack of skills, poor access (lack of transport links), or having caring responsibilities, such as looking after grandchildren. A survey developed by Volunteeringmatters UK reports that less than 13% of people over 55 years old were keen to gain qualifications through volunteering, compared to 72% of young people (13-24 years old) . On the other hand, 94% of the responders over 65 years said that volunteering helped them have a sense of purpose.

Volunteers don’t just need access to opportunities, they also need continued support if they are to gain the most from their experience, and that, too, should focus on their individual needs.

In fact, past research showed that volunteering among elder persons is beneficial because it improves physical condition, fosters interpersonal trust, toleration and empathy for others, and respect for the common good.

As the literature review suggests, there are several reasons to expect that elderly adults may experience different effects as a result of volunteerism than younger adults. If the predictions of activity theory hold assessments and with measures of morbidity and mortality, being a volunteer should be more positively associated with well-being among elderly persons than among younger adults because elderly volunteers are more active than younger volunteers. Second, elderly persons are less likely to be involved in other activities, such as employment and child rearing, and therefore their volunteer work may have a greater effect on their well-being.

Volunteering’s benefits for the elderly

  • life satisfaction,
  • life experiences,
  • perceived health,
  • independence,
  • social integration,
  • social suport,
  • skills development. 

The attention to senior volunteers has been warranted, not only because seniors are less likely to have other social roles to keep them active, socially integrated, and feeling productive, but because they experience the greatest benefits. Older volunteers experience greater psychological benefits for each hour that they contribute. Older adults who did not volunteer reported significantly worse health. Senior volunteers also reported higher levels of life satisfaction and perceived health than non-volunteers. The volunteers are the kind of people who are more satisfied with their lives and healthier in the first place.

What can be done to increase the participation of seniors in volunteering?

  • positive appeal to older people and strenghtened recruitment,
  • improved efforts and means for older volunteers recognition,
  • improved supervision, development and management of volunteer programs,
  • removal or reduction of specific impediments to older volunteer recruitment and retention efforts.

Local health and social care leaders are starting to recognize the power of volunteering and the importance of diversifying the pool of volunteers. This could break down some of the existing barriers to volunteering – and give everyone a chance to transform their own lives and those of others.

Encourage your senior to start the adventure with volunteering! Explain the benefits, look for organisations that recruit seniors as volunteers, help in signing in, suport on every step!

Diet of an efficient mind!

Dear senior, if you want to keep your brain in good shape you should take care of it. Train your memory using different games but also eat products full of minerals and vitamins that will help your brain stay healthy!

Vitamines from B Group –they are responsible for proper functioning of the nervous system, improving mood and intellectual efficiency. They can be found in buckwheat, oatmeal, rice, nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame.

Lecithin – it mostly improves memory and occurs in peanuts, soy and wheat germ.

Iron – it’s responsible for transporting oxygen. We can find it in nuts, legumes, raisins, stone fruits and leafy vegetables.

Zinc – it defends us from cold and flu, strengthens hair and nails. It occurs in pumpkin seeds, buckwheat and dark chocolate.

Magnesium – it helps in the processing of neuromuscular impulses, improves the work of brain cells. We can find it in cocoa, dark chocolate and oatmeal.

Potassium – improves the oxygenation of the brain. It occurs in grapes, bananas, oranges, apricots, avocados, melons, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes and potatoes.

Phosphorus – it improves mood, increases intelligence, adds vitality. It’s necessary for our memory to not disappoint us. We can find it in fish and especially in sunflower seeds.

Linoleic acid – its lack results in reduced concentration, loss of memory. It is found in fish and vegetable fats .