80% of care for vulnerable people in Europe is provided by unpaid family carers. Recognizing the contribution of family carers to care systems, the 1st European Carers’ Day was established in 2020 by the European Commission. Eurocarers and other organizations in Europe to invite national and local governments to recognize family carers as equal partners in care and to support them. This year, European Carers’ Day is specifically dedicated to young carers. Recognizing and supporting carers is a process linked to improving the status of their rights so that caring does not have a negative impact on their health and mental health, as well as on their economic and social well-being.
The Hellenic Society for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders of Chalkida was founded by family carers of people with dementia in 2009 in Chalkida, supporting family carers with ongoing services (psychoeducation programs, psychosocial support, and claiming benefits, home support, ‘break’ services for carers). According to the agency’s data for our region, the carers of people with dementia who have been supported are the spouses, children, nephews, and grandchildren of older people, most often women, and a large proportion of carers living in remote villages (over 60%) are older women with chronic health problems and no financial capacity for home help.
In the framework of the project “Supporting Human Rights of “Golden Age”, EPIONI and Alzheimer’s Chalkida will share information and good support practices to raise awareness among officials and professionals, civil society actors, and policymakers on the needs of family caregivers and promote their support and social inclusion issues. An important key action of the project regarding the rights of family carers includes the presentation of the European Directive on “informal carers” in the context of work-life balance. In our country, issues concerning family carers are provided for in the draft law on labor protection. Once transposed, the directive will favor the equal sharing of family responsibilities and the reconciliation of professional life with personal life and care.