‘Stay at home’ – home help for isolated people living in the mountains on the French-Italian border
The ‘Stay at home’ project, on the French-Italian border around Monte Viso, aims to promote the safety of elderly people and offer home help in the region's most isolated alpine areas. As part of the operational cross-border cooperation programme, this project has also enabled the sharing of solutions and good practices between France and Italy in order to resolve the deficiencies of the public services network in these peripheral areas.
" The purpose of the project was to] develop joint intervention and qualified service-based models, by focusing on improving safety and home care for elderly people living in remote areas, in order to encourage them to stay there and prevent the mass depopulation of these areas. "
The Varaita valley and upper Po valley in Italy and the Pays du Grand Briançonnais in France are sparsely populated mountain regions, which significantly hinders development of the road network and public services and compromises the social well-being of their inhabitants. The area has around 60 villages predominantly inhabited by elderly people.
A social care network that follows the principle of ‘good neighbourly relations’
The ‘Stay at home’ project has enabled the identification of people living in these areas (mainly on farms), who can provide home help, according to the concept of ‘good neighbourly relations’. The idea is to develop a stable home-help network, bringing together social workers and health professionals in order to enable elderly people in remote areas to continue living in their home.
Home help that creates jobs
The project offers a significant advantage for people with difficulties as they can benefit from care while continuing to live at home. They receive support for day-to-day tasks, such as housework or preparing a meal, and also have access to medical check-ups. In addition, the presence of social workers helps to combat loneliness and isolation, often experienced by elderly people.
The professionals also benefit from this initiative. Not only has the project enabled a new profession to be highlighted, that of home care, but it has also enabled job creation, particularly for women and young people. 30 candidates were selected and trained to carry out these tasks, with females traditionally being the predominant component.
‘Stay at home’ has led to greater integration of workers within social care networks in order to connect all the inhabitants who live in this area. As part of the operational cross-border cooperation programme, it has also encouraged the sharing of information and knowledge between social workers both in Italy and France.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the ‘Stay at home’ project was EUR 324 896, of which the EU's European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 215 320 from the Operational Programme ‘Italy – France (Alpes – ALCOTRA)’ for the 2007-2013 programming period.