The City programmes are aimed at supporting the elderly and promoting active living among them.
Senior Centre is one of the most recent projects implemented in Szczecin.
The idea behind the Senior Centre is to promote active living among older people. This is a brand new facility, which serves to integrate local residents. In addition, this is where you can learn about the various activities for senior citizens available in Szczecin. The newly opened Centre focuses especially on encouraging active involvement in civic, social, cultural, health, and educational projects among people who have already retired. This also supports one of the goals Mayor Piotr Krzystek has set for himself during his new term in office.
The objective of the Senior Centre, which has operated since 2019 at 16 Bolesława Śmiałego St., is to meet the diverse needs of senior citizens by creating opportunities for various forms of growth, providing social support, and teaching them how to live as an old-age pensioner. This goal is being achieved by such projects as promoting active living among senior citizens through various courses, workshops and training opportunities, information desk for senior citizens and their families, intergenerational integration efforts, and research and analyses to study the social needs of the elderly and their families.
The “Assistance Voucher: Alzheimer’s 75” is a form of financial support of PLN 3,000 a year, which has been in use in Szczecin since 2018. Its primary goal is to offer assistance to families who need to provide care to senior family members aged 75 or more who live in Szczecin and have been diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s disease. What’s important is that this support is intended for the carers who provide direct care to senior citizens (senior citizens may not be staying at private or public care centres).
In order to receive this support, carers providing assistance to senior citizens suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease need to fill in and submit a special application, together with a certificate from a specialist (neurologist/ psychiatrist/ geriatrician) to confirm that the senior citizen is under the care of the relevant health clinic or community health team/services. The certificate has to include information confirming Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and medical condition classification. When applying for the support, applicants also need to fill in an anonymous survey designed to provide insights into the situation of Alzheimer’s patients in Szczecin.
Funds are paid to beneficiaries in three instalments (PLN 1,000 each) and may be used for any purpose to support Alzheimer’s patients and their families. For instance, this money can be used to buy any necessary household items or personal care products.
Szczecin was the first city in Poland to have offered such support to its residents. During the first edition of this programme, such support was provided to a total of 486 carers.
Szczecin Senior Card (Szczecińska Karta Seniora) is one of the elements of the Family-Friendly Szczecin (Szczecin Przyjazny Rodzinie) programme to promote active living among senior citizens.
Anyone who is at least 65 years old and lives in Szczecin is eligible for this Card. Card holders can access, on preferential terms, municipal institutions of culture, such as museums and theatres, and rehabilitation providers or spa resorts. The programme also offers discounts and price reductions, as well as free-of-charge services available from programme’s partners. Szczecin Senior Card will be gradually developed and promoted over the next years to reach as many beneficiaries as possible with its attractive and constantly growing offering.
Over the past few years, Szczecin has made and implemented a decision to completely redesign its senior assistance system. Instead of developing those huge, institutionalised-care organisations, we decided to create a network of smaller forms of assistance known as sheltered housing or assisted living facilities, dispersed over different parts of the City and better aligned to meet the individual needs of our senior citizens.
As a result, in addition to our three Nursing Homes (two for senior citizens and the chronically ill, and one for the mentally ill – for a total of 560 residents), so far we have created 7 sheltered housing flats for the elderly, which provide care around the clock, and 23 assisted living facilities. The project to create sheltered housing flats and assisted living facilities will continue to be implemented over the next years, as its goal is to meet the related needs of all senior citizens.
In parallel, Szczecin is creating day care facilities for senior citizens (known as Day Support Section services), a project designed to complement sheltered housing flats and assisted living facilities. These are responsible for such areas as providing care services, therapy and rehabilitation, and culture and recreation activities. As a result, they are referred to as “Day Nursing Homes”. Committed to having their services aligned with the individual needs and ability levels of senior citizens, such facilities can provide a wide range of care (integration meetings, trips and journeys, theatre performances, concerts and film screenings).
Now in Szczecin there are 8 such facilities making the lives of senior citizens richer and more fulfilling. Day Nursing Homes, as well as other projects, such as Senior Clubs, embrace the idea of “a second home”. The scheme described above creates a friendly space for our senior citizens, and allows them to fully participate in the life of the City and live actively to enjoy social, cultural, and psychophysical experiences, which is our key goal for the near future.
These services are provided at home to people who require support from other people, whether because of their disability or age, yet do not have access to it. Such services can also be awarded to people who require assistance but their families are unable to render it.
These services are generally to support those people in such activities of daily living as shopping, apartment cleaning, hygiene, and meal preparation. Moreover, they are also provided assistance with any official business, and have opportunities to interact with other people. In each case, the number of hours and the range of services is determined on an individual basis.
The services are free of charge for people whose income is lower than the income threshold, and regardless of income level for people who are at least 95 years old, or, for single people, 90 years old.
Of course, in special cases, people who do not meet these criteria can be exempted from payment in part or in full.
Care services are now the fastest-growing form of support in Szczecin. Every year, about 100 new people require such support. Those who have already used such services, often need to have the number of hours of assistance increased.
The largest group of women benefiting from care services are single women aged 80 or more. And among men, the largest group are single men aged between 61 and 80.