Heart Thinking – Experience-oriented professionalism in the accompaniment of people with mental impairment in the life phase of aging Erasmus Project

General information for the Heart Thinking – Experience-oriented professionalism in the accompaniment of people with mental impairment in the life phase of aging Erasmus Project

Heart Thinking – Experience-oriented professionalism in the accompaniment of people with mental impairment in the life phase of aging Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Heart Thinking – Experience-oriented professionalism in the accompaniment of people with mental impairment in the life phase of aging

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Inclusion – equity; Disabilities – special needs; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

In the project “Herzdenken”, a curriculum in easily understandable language was developed as an advanced course for the basic qualification “Maieutic” for professional employees* in social service organizations and people with disabilities.
In the project “Herzdenken”, 50 persons from the four partner countries were trained with this curriculum in two learning blocks of three days each. These persons were given practical tasks (conducting the Maieutic resident meetings), which they carried out in their service organizations. A total of 100 Maieutic resident reviews were conducted in the four partner countries during the course of the project. The Maieutic resident reviews were analyzed and reflected at the level of people with disabilities, professional caregivers* and relatives. These evaluations were carried out for the first time and provide valuable new information. The resident review provides us with a holistic view of the needs, resources and current care and support needs of people with cognitive impairments, which has not previously existed to this extent. It was extremely important to “become aware” of the important role that life history has in this in order to be able to react adequately in different behavioral and life situations.

The resulting added value, the sustainability and project benefits were visible and emotionally experienced by all project participants* in the form of an increase in the quality of service provision at steering meetings, Skype conferences in language and documentation. The accompanied people with disabilities receive a considerably higher self-realization, also in the life phase of aging. The long-term effects are the continuation of the Maieutic residents reviews in the countries Austria, Romania and Poland.
A further aim was to find out the differences and needs of people in the life phase of aging with and without impairments in the four countries using the Maieutic care and nursing model within the framework of a qualitative research method. In each country, the following persons were interviewed with the professions “specialist social workers”, “qualified nursing staff”, “therapists” and persons affected. Using a standardized questionnaire, at least eight persons were interviewed in each partner country. The evaluation of the expert interviews was carried out on the basis of a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed individual theses for each country, which can be used as a basis for further content-related and organizational procedures (also serves as a basis for socio-political decisions) in the assistance of people with impairments in the life phases of aging. Five theses were adopted as joint approaches by all partner countries.
A further activity in the project’s cooperation team was the further development of Maieutic instruments. The Maieutic “characteristics” and the “Maieutic perception sheet for recognizing the phase of life of aging” were developed especially for people with cognitive impairments on the one hand and for the cultural and social preconditions of the respective country on the other. These Maieutic instruments serve as a standardized basis for the professional caregivers for the daily provision of high-quality services.

Through this intensive exchange of content during the project “Herzdenken”, 50 persons can work as multipliers in their service organizations in their countries in order to gather new information and develop new approaches. The new information and access to education for people with cognitive impairments in easily understandable language, which were developed during the project, deserve special mention.
The dissemination of the project results was an essential aspect of the project to achieve a long-term impact. For example, lectures were given at social care schools and universities of applied sciences in Austria, introduction of an “Alzheimer Café” in Romania, newspaper reports in Germany, radio interviews in Poland and much more. These serve to sensitize society to these new findings. The Caritas symposium for people with disabilities on 26 September 2019 in Austria, in the presence of all project participants*, where the results were presented to a specialist audience of 210 people, should be emphasized here.
The four partner countries are now pioneers with the same level of knowledge in their countries and can thus support competitors (other social organizations) with specialist inputs. In order to jointly reflect on and further develop this acquired knowledge and practical experience on a regular basis, a further meeting has already been agreed in Romania in June 2020. The project partners thus form a network for the use and further development of knowledge beyond the duration of the project!

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 100637,73 Eur

Project Coordinator

Caritas für Menschen mit Behinderungen & Country: AT

Project Partners

  • Sankt Vincenzstift gGmbH
  • Lubelskie Towarzystwo Dobroczynnosci
  • Asociatia Caritas Alba Iulia – Asistenta Medicala si Sociala