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Greece

2013: National policies covering the care and support of people with dementia and their carers

Background information

Where people with dementia receive care and support

The following table provides estimates of the number of people with dementia living at home, in various types of residential care and in hospitals or psychiatric institutions.

 

Place of residence

 

YES or NO

Estimated number/

Additional information

At home (alone)

Yes

20%

At home (with relatives or close friends)

Yes

50%

At home (with other people with dementia)

No

-

In general/non-specialised residential homes

Yes

10%

In specialised residential homes for people with dementia

No

-

In general/non-specialised nursing homes

Yes

10%

In specialised nursing homes for people with dementia

No

-

In hospitals, special wards or medical units

No

-

In psychiatric establishments

Yes

10%

Other (please specify)

No

-

Alzheimer Hellas estimates that 70% of residents in general/non-specialised residential homes have dementia, while this percentage drops to 25% in general/non-specialised nursing homes.

The ratio of staff to residents in various establishments is shown below, based on Alzheimer Hellas estimates:

  • 1:20 in general/non-specialised residential homes
  • 10:1* in general/non-specialised nursing homes
  • 1:5 in specialised residential homes for people with dementia
  • 1:5 in specialised nursing homes for people with dementia

*The ratio of ten staff members per resident is due to inconsistent hiring policies in the Greek public sector. It is also very likely the main cause of the government's current policy to gradually close down these facilities.

The organisation of care and support for people with dementia

There is no official dementia plan or related legislation for the care and support of people with dementia.

Greece is divided into five regions that operate hospitals and are responsible for general practitioners. Hospitals are privately run enterprises that are funded by the regions. These regions encompass 98 local municipalities that are responsible for home care, care homes, home nursing and rehabilitation.

If a person needs to go into a care home, they move into a flat in a complex called a “home care centre”. They have to pay their own rent and also for food, medicine, laundry and utilities. The municipalities provide staff such as nurses, social and health assistants and helpers. The need to go into a care home is assessed by local authorities.

Care homes are the only kind of institutionalised care available, unless a person needs special psychiatric care, in which case they go to a specialised nursing home. There are very few private care homes.

Alzheimer Hellas operates approximately ten day care centres in the country, some of which receive EU funding.

Training

Which social and healthcare professionals provide care and support

The following social and healthcare professionals are involved in the provision of care and support to people with dementia in residential care or living at home:

Social or healthcare professional

Involved in the provision of care and support to people with dementia in residential care or at home

Nursing staff

Yes

Auxiliary staff

Yes

Allied health professionals

Yes

Other

Psychologists

Specialists (e.g. psychiatrists, gerontologists, neurologists)*

Yes. The majority of specialists try to find ways to support patients with dementia at their homes.

General practitioners*

No

*Only if they are linked to the provision and organisation of care and support (i.e. not with regard to their role to provide medical treatment).

The type of training that social and healthcare professionals receive

There is no official training or qualification for social and healthcare professionals that deal with people with dementia. Alzheimer Hellas organises various seminars and conferences, but these are not officially recognised.

Support for informal carers

There is no official support for informal carers. Alzheimer Hellas provides some services which are described in section 15.5.

National Alzheimer Association

Alzheimer Hellas operates all over Greece, with association members providing services on a voluntary basis. The association organises conferences and seminars, including an educational teleconference programme. There are also telephone helplines and two newsletters. On a more local level, associations operate day centres, home services and caregiver support groups.

Helpline

x

Information activities (newsletters, publications)

x

Website

x

Awareness campaigns

x

Legal advice

x

Care coordination/Case management

x

Home help (cleaning, cooking, shopping)

 

Home care (personal hygiene, medication)

x

Incontinence help

 

Assistive technologies / ICT solutions

 

Tele Alarm

 

Adaptations to the home

 

Meals on wheels

 

Counselling

x

Support groups for people with dementia

x

Alzheimer cafes

x

Respite care at home (Sitting service etc.)

 

Holidays for carers

 

Training for carers

x

Support groups for carers

x

Day care

x

Residential/Nursing home care

 

Palliative care

 

Acknowledgements

Magda Tsolaki, Professor of Neurology, Aristotle University (Thessaloniki) and Chair of the Greek Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.

 

 
 

Last Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2014

 

 
  • Acknowledgements

    The above information was published in the 2013 Dementia in Europe Yearbook as part of Alzheimer Europe's 2013 Work Plan which received funding from the European Union in the framework of the Health Programme.
  • European Union
 
 

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