In September Eurocarers together with AGE Platform Europe, COFACE Families Europe arranged a workshop in the Social Platform’s conference Building Social Europe. The conference organised as a part of High-Level Conference on the Economy of Wellbeing of the Finnish Presidency of the EU. It dealt with social issues such as long term care, homelessness, community based social services. The first Social Platform was organised in Portugal in 2018. Eurocarers was represented in the conference by its Finnish members: Carers Finland and Organisations for Carers Network Finland. Most of the 80 participants represented European level organisations from many different countries.
The workshop on the theme long-term care started with a Finnish dancing film based on an ethnographic doctoral thesis about experiences of family carers. The discussion about the film pointed out using art as a tool for advocacy. The theme of the workshop was availability and quality of long-term care. Jonna Skand, President of Organisation for Carers Network in Finland, stressed out that family care is an essential part of long-term care. In addition, she underlined that one should be able to choose in which extend s/he will take responsibility of someone else as family carer.
The conclusion of the workshop was an urgent call for European data on long-term care. Furthermore, innovations and sharing of good practices about long term-care services are needed between member states. Sari Tervonen, Executive Director of Carers Finland and President of Eurocarers, said that we must call for European funds for innovations to improve the quality of life of family carers. All participants of the workshop agreed that a systematic involvement of civil society is important in the policymaking process at all levels to guarantee democracy and also participation of the vulnerable groups.
Photo, from left to right: Sari Tervonen, Borja Arrue, Jonna Skand and Tiina Lindfors