DESK REVIEWS | 03.03.07. Volunteers
DESK REVIEW | 03.03.07. Volunteers
People may volunteer in some care homes, such as through providing pastoral care, musicotherapy, arts therapy, writing/reading lessons, etc. An example of such initiative can be found here. There are non-profit associations and blogs where volunteer carers may subscribe themselves and can become part of a community which provides care for others (e.g. “portal da terceira idade” and “velho amigo”). Usually, volunteering schemes are set up by each institution and there are no official data about how many volunteers exist in Brazil, how these are enrolled, and what requisites they have. There are also healthcare students who practice their care and research skills in care homes which are linked through the Universities. There are also donation schemes in which churches, individuals, and large institutions donate food, clothes, and other items.
People may volunteer in some care homes, such as through providing pastoral care, musicotherapy, arts therapy, writing/reading lessons, etc. An example of such initiative can be found here. There are non-profit associations and blogs where volunteer carers may subscribe themselves and can become part of a community which provides care for others (e.g., “portal da terceira idade” and “velho amigo”). Usually, volunteering schemes are set up by each institution and there are no official data about how many volunteers exist in Brazil, how these are enrolled, and what requisites they have. There are also healthcare students who practice their care and research skills in care homes which are linked through the Universities. There are also donation schemes in which churches, individuals and large institutions donate food, clothes, and other items.
An example of a volunteer-led model for long-term care has been tested in the state of Kerala. The Neighbourhood Network of Palliative Care (NNPC) project is a community-owned service model for long-term and palliative care (Kumar, 2007). Volunteers undergo a structured training program and operate in groups to identify and deliver interventions to people with chronic illness in their community (Kumar, 2007). These groups are supported by trained healthcare professionals (Kumar, 2007). Another example is that of ARDSI, where of the 18 chapters of across the country, only five centres are under the national administration while the rest rely mainly on volunteers to support the activities of the organisation.
However, most formal long-term care services are often clinician-centred, and the number of volunteers involved in long-term care is negligible. Most volunteers are former family caregivers who try to help with their expertise and experience from being carers. It has been observed that volunteers are more interested in training carers (informal or formal) than in directly supporting persons with care needs.
Kumar S. K. (2007). Kerala, India: a regional community-based palliative care model. Journal of pain and symptom management, 33(5), 623–627. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2007.02.005
The organisation of the Posyandu Lansia is built mostly on volunteers. Volunteers are also involved in activities run by the Puskesmas (Departemen Kesehatan RI, 2006). We are unable to find any information about the organisation of the workforce.
Departemen Kesehatan RI. (2006). Pedoman Umum Pengelolaan Posyandu. Departemen Kesehatan RI.
The National Volunteerism Policy in Kenya “recognizes the following categories of volunteers:
- Youth Volunteers – These are young people aged between 18-35years as enshrined in the constitution.
- Retired Volunteers – These are individuals retired from formal employment offering their services voluntarily.
- Online Volunteers – Individuals or groups of people offering volunteer services virtually.
- Institutional Based Volunteers– These includes individuals or groups offering volunteer services through organisations or institutions.
- International Volunteers – These are Kenyans and non-Kenyans offering volunteer services in Kenya and abroad.
- Diaspora volunteers – These are Kenyan citizens living abroad who come to Kenya to offer volunteer services.
- Community based volunteers – These are individuals or groups that are engaging in volunteer activities informally within their communities.
- Children volunteers – These include Kenyans below the age of 18years engaging in volunteer activities under guidance of an adult or institution.
- Government volunteer initiatives
- Professional volunteers – These are individuals who are in active formal employment in various sectors and offer their services voluntarily on part time basis
Different organisations have different approaches towards mobilisation, recruitment, induction, training, engagement, motivation, retention, and transition of volunteers” (Republic of Kenya, 2015b). The policy does not provide on the roles of the volunteer or the mode of shadowing. The current practice is that the roles are defined by the institution of higher learning or the host institution but are not specific to LTC.
Republic of Kenya. (2015b). The National Volunteerism Policy. https://www.labourmarket.go.ke/media/resources/FINAL_VOLUNTEERISM_POLICY.pdf
Information on the support of voluntary work in health care provision (all areas/population groups) has been collected as part of the National Health Satellite Accounts generated by the national statistics institute INEGI. For the year 2017, voluntary care in health represented 1.2% of the total GDP of the health sector. Volunteer work is mostly performed in non-profit organisations at the community level, and individuals are usually not employed/contracted and/or paid. On the other hand, the 2015 Social Assistance Housing Census, CAAS, showed that of the total staff working at the interviewed long-term care institutions, 14% worked without payment as volunteers.
Volunteers are part of staff complements at facilities and service centres, with roles and numbers varying widely. In a report evaluating the services rendered to older persons in the Western Cape, a total of 13 out of 20 facilities evaluated in 2015 relied on volunteers (Baerecke, 2015). Volunteers’ responsibilities varied from assisting with administrative tasks, cooking, cleaning, driving and delivering meals to beneficiaries at home. The same report found that there were no formal requirements for staff and volunteers working at service centres for older persons, despite the Older Persons’ Act (no.13 of 2006), as well as the DSD’s Norms and Standards for acceptable levels of care for older persons requiring a formal recruitment programme with corresponding selection and appointment criteria of staff and volunteers (Baerecke, 2015), as well as training of volunteers at residential care facilities for older persons (see Older Persons’ Act, chapter 4, section 17(i)). With an overburdened system characterised by shortages of staff and volunteers, service centres do not apply strict criteria, with few admittedly providing any form of training on how to care and provide services to older persons (Baerecke, 2015). Bigger facilities generally had a more formal organisational structure, whereas smaller facilities with fewer staff relied more on informal organisational structures that generally depended on the services of volunteers.
Baerecke, L. (2015). An Evaluation of Service Centres for Older Persons in the Western Cape. Commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Social Development. Available from: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/sites/www.westerncape.gov.za/files/evaluation_of_service_centres_for_older_persons_final_report_branded_cover.pdf
Government Gazette. (2006). Older Persons Act, No.13 of 2006 (Vol. 13, Issue 1098). Available from: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/other/2012/3/older_persons_act.pdf