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“Together strong for care”

On October 10th the RBS-Center for gerontology organized a seminar for family carers that was very well received by the target group, as well as by professional caregivers. Much interest was shown in the talk by the likeable psychologist and psychotherapist, Patrick Kolb, who worked for many years in the field of ambulant care and whose huge experience and competence enriched and motivated the participants in many ways.

In Luxembourg, as in most other European counties, informal care is becoming more and more prominent and the number of family carers is constantly growing.  However, informal caregivers often find themselves being “lone fighters”, overworked and stretched far beyond their own limits. On the long run, it will become increasingly difficult for them to meet the required needs of the frail dependent persons.  Why can a healthy dose of selfishness be beneficial for all involved parties? What crucial resources and competences family carers should carry in their “caregiver toolbox”? Patrick Kolb addressed these questions and other matters in a sensitive yet practice-oriented manner by underlining the importance of experience sharing with other family carers. He further emphasized the importance of mutual support to activate resources and stimulate self-care.

At present there is no superordinate interest group or association for family carers in Luxembourg. Instead many disease specific self-help groups are co-existing. They might unequivocally be extremely helpful to better cope with everyday life, but there is still an underdeveloped awareness of the societal role and importance of family carers. The impending reform of the Luxembourgish dependency insurance will thus officially seek to take account of the pressing interests and needs of informal carers. The seminar proposed by RBS was a further important step towards this goal.