Helping older people to live in quality at home for as long as possible – by safeguarding their independence, encouraging greater self-care and helping them find opportunities to be needed in local communities.
The problem of loneliness in Lithuania has become a mass phenomenon. There are more than half a million people over the age of 65 in Lithuania and the number is growing every year. One in three people over the age of 65 lives alone. Some grandparents do not leave home all year round. According to psychologists, people who experience loneliness are much more likely to suffer from depression, feel unnecessary, uninteresting, and forgetfulness. To address this issue, the Lithuanian Red Cross created the Warm Visits program. It is aimed at single people, mostly the elderly, who rarely leave their homes or care homes due to health and other barriers and do not have a circle of people close to them. They are regularly visited by Red Cross volunteers.
Visits by Red Cross volunteers to single grandparents improve their emotional well-being. Communication, warm speech, listening are very important for grandparents, so volunteers become their new friends.
Technical details & Operations
The goal is to reduce the sense of loneliness of older people and to strive to improve their well-being through motivated and trained Red Cross volunteers who regularly visit people in their homes and provide quality psychosocial support. The aim is also to help seniors engage in activities that they can no longer do on their own and encourage them to cross the doorstep when possible.
The team share valuable information about ways to overcome loneliness, self-help, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and encourage the acquisition of useful skills that facilitate everyday life; The team regularly monitor the well-being of single seniors and inform the necessary support and care services if necessary.
Deployment & Impact
A personal volunteer is assigned to each senior who devote at least 10 hours per month to quality communication or joint activities.
Where possible, classes are organized and groups of volunteers go to state care institutions and organize group activities with seniors (board and time games, cooking, reading books, quizzes). If necessary, a senior psychologist is consulted by a senior. They teach seniors to provide first aid for themselves and others.
The physical and emotional health of seniors is constantly monitored and help is sought from specialists. In 2021 the volunteers of the Warm Visits programme reached and visited 815 elderly people at home and 440 elderlies at retirement homes.