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Alzheimer relatives Austria (Alzheimer Angehörige Austria )

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

More Info

Summary

Alzheimer Angehörige Austria is a self-help group for families of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It launched its website in 2002 to provide care-related information and suggestions for people with Alzheimer and particularly for their carers. It provides information on legal and financial matters (e.g. care allowance), counselling services, as well as care-related literature and lectures. It also provides contact addresses of local Alzheimer self-help groups.

The initiative has Public and Third sector funding. The service is free of charge for users, after they pay a 30€ membership fee.

No particular devices are necessary, except for a personal computer and an Internet connection.

The main recipients are older people affected by Alzheimer disease and their family.

Psychologists and social and health care sector professionals are involved in the service.

It affects society at three different levels. At the micro level, it improves carers' and care recipients' quality of life. At the meso level, it helps carers to reconcile care and work. And at the macro level, it supports and trains carers, thus avoiding unnecessary hospitalisations.

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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Alzheimer relatives Austria (Alzheimer Angehörige Austria )
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Austria
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2002
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The service aims to:

  • support and inform family carers.

  • find solutions and strategies together

  • increase understanding of the illness in order to modify the attitudes and behaviours of carers towards the illness.

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The Self-help Group was founded in Vienna in 1990 to create "Alzheimer Gesellschaft", comprising an association of doctors that perform research and an organisation of care recipients and carers. The main motivation is to ease the burden of informal carers, and enhance their capacity to care by increasing their knowledge and self-confidence. The website was launched in 2002.

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Yes Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
Yes Paid assistants
No Formal carers

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Not available

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No Independent Living
Yes Information and learning for carers
Yes Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
No Care coordination

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The website of Alzheimer Angehörige Austria provides:

  • Self-help groups through the Internet or directly by phone.

  • An “Alzheimer Cafe", which is addressed to older people, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and their family carers, friends and neighbours by offering them a pleasant afternoon in which to share their problems and experiences. These Cafes are a way to receive useful information, advice and relief.

  • Useful information about Alzheimer's disease, as well as legal and financial matters (e.g. care allowance).

  • Counselling services, care-related literature and lectures.

  • Suggestions for families on how to manage a person suffering from Alzheimer’s.

  • Information about informal carers' tasks and opportunities for relief.

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A PC, an Internet connection and a telephone are the only required devices.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Both public and private
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Public service funding: Government, Regional, Local Authorities, non-profit public entities
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Not available

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Non-profit funding: charity, volunteers organisations, NGO
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Not available

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Not available

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Sustained future funding seems to be very likely, since the cost for running the website is very low.

As Internet use seems to be quite common among the target groups, the service expects to increase its users by offering new services such as a chat-room.

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€ 0 - 10,000
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Not available

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No Authorities
Yes Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
No Private Companies

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Not available

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Since a Charity provides funding for the service, the Third Sector has a leading role.
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Yes Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
No Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers

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Not available

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Not involved

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1,001 - 5,000
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Not available

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Events and conferences have been organised in order to promote the initiative, such as the following:

  • Aktiv im Alter

  • 22nd Alzheimer Europe Conference in Wien. Theme: "Changing perceptions, practice and policy" http://www.alzheimer-europe.org/conferences

  • International Conference on Clinical Practice in Alzheimer Disease in Budapest http://www.cpadconference.com/

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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This service may  positively impact on the quality of life of:

- Informal carers, because it reconciles care and work and improves their health and social life.

- Paid assistants, because it alleviates social isolation and promotes their social life and health.

- Older people, by raising the quality of care, it indirectly improves their health and relationships.

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This service positively may positively impact on:

- Private organisations that provide care, because it helps to save costs and optimise resources.

- Companies and the labour market, because it helps informal carers to reconcile work and caring tasks, thus avoiding added costs for replacing the worker who has to stay at home with the care recipient.

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The service could help save the costs of home caring and hospitalisation and is effective in training formal and informal carers. In addition, it helps to optimise financial and human resources.

 

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Strengths:

  1. As the service facilitates carers' self-support through interaction with other carers in self-help groups, it might contribute to alleviating informal carers' burden.
  2. The association was concerned that the website would not reach the target group, but this apprehension turned out to be unfounded, since the use of the Internet appeared to be quite common among that group of people.

Weaknesses:

  1. The website has no English version, so the service is useful only to German speaking migrant care workers.
  2. No impact assessment is available on the website.

Opportunities:

  1. There are a lot of requests and positive feedback, so there are opportunities to increase the service’s offer and the number of its users.

Threats/challenges:

  1. The implementation of a chat-room is the next challenge for the future.
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It is planned to implement more interactive elements, such as a chat-room.

Contrary to expectations, the website is frequently used by people concerned with or interested in Alzheimer's disease. The service is based on a model easily transferable to other geographical areas, because it is quite economical to run and does not require installation or particular devices.

The website has also led to a higher number of people joining the self-help group.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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Address: A-1020 Wien, Obere Augartenstrasse 26-28

Telephon/Fax: 0043 (1) 332 51 66

e-mail:

For “Alzheimer Cafè”:

Monika Frank

Tel: 0043 0664/313-8448

Email: kontakt@monikafrank.at