The caregiver takes care, “pays attention”, “replaces”, “remedies”, provides, “resolves” not out of voluntary work but out of necessity. Yet, Italy is one of the few countries in Europe that does not recognize specific rights and protections for this figure who does not have a specific connotation within the NHS. “However, its presence constitutes an important element of economic sustainability in the management of chronicity and disability. Now they are asking for the right to rest, health, welfare, social security and insurance protections. For this reason, Emilia-Romagna has adopted a regional law since 2003, introducing for the first time in Italy the social recognition of the role of the caregiver ”. This was stated by Raffaele Donini, councilor for health policies of the Emilia-Romagna Region on the occasion of the fourth Talk of Allies for Health (www.alleatiperlasalute.it), the new portal dedicated to medical-scientific information created by Novartis. Title of the debate: “The caregiver: what role in taking charge of the fragile patient and in society?” which was attended by Paolo Bandiera, Director of General Affairs of Aism (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association) and the journalist Silvia Bencivelli. “With this law – explains Donini – we have recognized the figure of the family caregiver by affirming the free choice of those who take on the tasks of assistance and care on an ongoing basis. The caregivers take care of family members, disabled people and non self-sufficient elderly. Covid has taught us how fundamental they are and we administrators must be by their side. Thanks to the portal of the Emilia-Romagna Region, where you can find updated service maps, contact details of local contacts in each district, we have built a network of contacts and information such as to have a clear picture of who and how many caregivers are in our region. It is no coincidence that we are subjecting them to vaccination “. For Councilor Donini, it is necessary to focus more and more on assistance and training,” because – he says caregiver assistance must be more qualified, without claiming to replace social and health services, if anything by integrating them. homicide must become the first level of assistance and well-being, even for severe forms of disability and non self-sufficiency. Since the caregiver is always present and stable, we must think about investing resources to provide the fundamental tools for those who provide care and for those who receive assistance ”. Donini then recalled that in “2019 we have allocated 47 million euros to support caregivers, for direct and indirect interventions: from the treatment center to the temporary relief welcome to the contribution for the adaptation of services and the home. We recently allocated 7 million euros for 2020-2021 in addition to the 5.3 million from the National Fund to support the care and assistance role of the family caregiver ”. During the debate ample space was given to ‘Caregiver Day’. Also this year, in fact, the days dedicated to the family member who takes care of a loved one are back, precisely the Caregiver Day (http://www.caregiverday.it) event now in its 11th edition. A series of events in webinar mode – with free access upon registration – are scheduled every Friday in May (7- 14- 21 -28) from 15 to 17. The events, organized by the social cooperative ‘Anziani e Non Solo’, are supported by the Union of Municipalities of the Terre d’Argine, sponsored by the Emilia-Romagna Region, by Carer Aps – Association of Emilia-Romagna Family Caregivers – and by ‘Ausl of Modena. The meetings will be an opportunity to talk about research results, reflections, experiences, testimonies, the impact of the pandemic in structures for the elderly and the planning of assistance services for elderly people.
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