Two welfare masters have been working in Tartu since the spring, helping the elderly with their daily activities and making their home environment safer. The service is free for residents of Tartu.
Welfare masters have replaced light bulbs and smoke detector batteries in homes of elderly, hung curtains, rearranged or assembled furniture, helped lift things high and performed other tasks that pose a challenge for the elderly.
They have also advise the elderly on what technical aids could help make their lives easier and safer.
Welfare master Tarvi Kivipõld said: "We won't leave someone alone with a worry. We have also helped people find different services – for example, if someone need a builder or plumber, a hairdresser who cuts hair at home, or a window washer."
Deputy Mayor Mihkel Lees, this is a new service in Estonia that is not offered by other local governments.
"By supporting the elderly in their daily activities, we reduce the risk of falls and traumas that can greatly reduce a person's ability to cope and may mean no longer being able to cope independently at home. However, this would increase the care burden of relatives and the demand for social services. Thus, the opportunity to ask welfare masters for assistance helps to prevent much bigger social problems," said Lees.
Welfare masters also advise and help the elderly in other matters.
If necessary, they liaise with care professionals, the care coordinator, the family doctor, the ambulance, the emergency medical staff and other agencies, in order to provide the person with the necessary help and to refer the case to the appropriate specialist. They can help a person who has fallen back to bed with the help of a specially designed technical aid. This is done when the person does not need medical attention.
Welfare masters work during the following times: Monday from 8-12 and 13-18, Tuesday to Thursday from 8-12 and 13-17, and Friday from 8-12 and 13-16. Welfare masters can be contacted by phone or e-mail:
Anni Aulik, phone 5194-2648, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tarvi Kivipõld, phone 5385-8161, email@example.com
The Tartu City Government's Department of Social Welfare and Health Care is developing a new welfare service through a project funded by the Innove Support Fund, which will last until the end of May 2021.
Based on the results of the project, a decision will be made on the further need for welfare master jobs and the development perspective of the service.
Editor: Helen Wright