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2 2 Objectives of the research Assessment of needs of volunteers to support ederly Assessment of needs of professionals to support ederly Links between professionals, volunteers and environment

3 3 The sample is composed of 97 people in the age range 18-more 60. 13 people are under 25, 5 are between 25 and 35, 7 are between 35 and 45, 19 are between 45 and 55, 14 are between 55 and 60 and 37 are older than 68. The over 60s (38,1%) overall form the most considerable age group and are followed with the same percentage (14.4%) by people under 25 and people aged between 55 and 60. I ) Sociological profile of the sample

4 4 This sample is composed of 63,9% women (n=62) and 35,1% men (n=34). One person did not wish to answer the question. The education standards vary from GCSE to the bachelor’s degree. Some of those polled did not wish to precise it, and unfortunately form the most considerable group (31%). Our sample is composed of 43,3% pensioners (n=42), 10.3% students (10=8), 11.3% senior executives (n=11) (university lecturers for instance), 10.3% middle-managers and employees (n=10). We notice that the number of workers, craftsmen and shopkeepers and farmers is small. The unemployed people represent 14.4 %.

5 5 The length of the voluntary help is contained between 1 and more 10 years. In our sample, 32 % of the people (n=31) have been volunteers for at least between 5 to 10 years, and 20,6% (n: 20) have been volunteers for less 5 years. As for volunteering at Les Petits Frères, 27.8% (n=27) have been volunteers for less than 1 year. 23.7% (n=23) have been volunteers between 1 and 3 years. 10.3% (n=10) have been volunteers between 3 and 5 years and 22.7% (n=22) have been volunteers between 5 and 10 years and 6.2% (n= 6) for more than 10 years.

6 6 II ) Motives for becoming a volunteer The motive for becoming a volunteer is influenced by people’s way of life. We got a wide range of answers from those polled, and among them:  - To be in contact with people  - “I was a volunteer when I was younger” - To something to help people - To help and to learn - To give the others a bit of my time - To answer the need for an open-mindedness

7 7 “I am a believer. Helping an elderly person is the same as helping God” - Charity, personal fulfilment - To make myself useful - To communicate - Fear of getting older - Confessional motivations, will to give - Will to bring something to the others, to make myself useful in helping others - Will to take care of others - Hoping that someone will take care of me once I am elderly - To take my mind off things, to have an activity

8 8 One could say that whatever the sociological and ideological origins are, volunteers share a common culture which is made of three types of relations according to Serge Paugam: - the relations volunteers have with the other volunteers during their voluntary help. the relations volunteers have with the elderly they meet, look after or help. - the relations volunteers have with people outside the organization. Nevertheless, whatever their motivations are, all volunteers have a common goal which is “to help suffering people”.

9 9 If we try to make a typology using Mr Paugam’s and Max Weber’s works, we see that the volunteers’ commitments can be divided into two categories: - The altruistic commitment whose basis is the conscious search for a social activity in order to fill a void or to overcome a feeling of ill-being in volunteers’ life. - the altruistic commitment based on the respect of norms and values that have been internalized since childhood.

10 10 Serge Paugam was inspired by Max Weber’s work (Economy and society, Plon, 1971) about the different types of social activities when he defined these two categories. The first type of commitment is guided by a rational behaviour in view of the end (interested commitment): “One behaves rationally in view of the end if one acts according to the subsidiary ends, means and consequences and if one rationally confronts the ends and the means, the ends and the subsidiary consequences and finally the different possible ends between themselves”

11 11 “One behaves rationally in view of values if one acts without paying attention to the possible consequences of one’s actions, if one acts according to the beliefs one thinks are ordered by duty, dignity, beauty, religion, devotion or by the greatness of a cause whatever its nature might be”. The second type of commitment is guided by a rational behaviour in view of values:

12 12 In short “it is the peculiarity of the ethical commitment to be convinced that the organization we work with has a personality. We must pass it on to every volunteer and its spirit has to spread inside and outside the organization. In other words volunteers have to keep themselves in the background and to forget their own interests in order to serve the common goal” (Serge Paugam, 1998, page 170)

13 13 III ) Words that symbolize action We asked those polled to give three words that symbolize best their action. Here are some, in order of importance: · listening (27 times) · loving (18 times) · being with the patient (8 times) · respecting (13 times) · helping (13 times) · sharing (6 times)

14 14 being available (6 times) · felling affection (6 times) · warmth · exchanging brotherhood

15 15 IV ) Difficulties volunteers have From this difficulties we can build training curriculum modules and handbook) · difficulties with the families · lack of motivation of some elderly people · idea of death · relations between men and women · lack of time · lack of availability · conflict between the elderly

16 16 communication problem · relations between the volunteers and the elderly · conflict between the elderly and notably between the oldest and the youngest · means of transport (often) · age difference · difficulty to communicate with people suffering from a psychiatric disease · sharing the work with the permanent workers

17 17 difficult behaviour of some of the elderly · understanding what are the elderly people’s real expectations · helping the elderly enjoy life again · relations with disorientated people · understanding the problems of the elderly · professionals lack of time compared to volunteers · difficulty in find me a conversation subject when the elderly talk very little us

18 18 difficulty to get organized in order to pay the elderly regular visits · difficulty to communicate with some of the elderly · difficulty to take care of mentally handicapped people · death of the patient · difficulty to face aggressiveness · lack of confidence from supported people · difficulty to face the isolation of the elderly · accompaniment of the elderly at the end of their lives

19 19 In short, the answers are very varied. If we try to group them together, here are the answers that were given most often: lack of time  elderly people’s symptoms: psychiatric problems, difficult character, aggressiveness, silence of some people, difficulty to face isolation.

20 20 V ) Solutions to these difficulties The question is: what could be done to find a solution to these difficulties? In general volunteers talk about these difficulties within their team and then discuss the subject with the other volunteers. This confirms the answer given by those polled to the question about the links and communication between volunteers. The rate was 91.9% (n=89) which is considerable. Finally, some people declare they manage to cope with the situation.

21 21 We asked another question to know who the other person with whom they talked about their difficulties was. The most common answers were: the team (5 times), the permanent facilitate staff/head (the person in charge) (35 times), the volunteers (16 times). The analysis of these two questions shows that when volunteers meet difficulties, they try to explain the problem to the team and to the permanent worker, or they get in touch with another volunteer. Anyway 87.7% emphasize that they help each other and 91,8% declare communicating between us. They also declared that the accompanying staff could provide them with pieces of advice, listening, support, help and understanding.

22 22 VI ) Competences 47.4% (n=46) think they are able to organize their work without requiring help from any organizer. 35.1% (n=34) think they are unable to do so and need to be supported and encouraged by a team. But however that may be, 73.2% (n=71) think they are competent! Those who think they are not competent need to broaden their knowledge. They require more experience concerning the elderly people’s life. They wish they could attend a training course about the different helps and would like to exchange practice with the others.

23 23 - listening (25 times) - availability (12 times) - patience (8 times) - understanding (6 times) - respect (5 times) We asked them to give three of their qualities, and the main answers were:

24 24 VII ) Training 68% (n=66) have already attended a training course, and 22.7% (n=22) have not. In general the content of these courses deals with being with patients at the end of their lives, but there are also courses for persons in charge of a holidays, on elder abuse, home visits, psychology, listening and communication.

25 25 The answers to the question “what kind of training would you require in order to improve your practice?” are very varied and could be used in order to create a curriculum and improve volunteers’ practices: · attend the training “how to accompany people at the end of their lives” again · a more practical and less theoretical training · organize activities with the elderly · training to face aggressiveness · first aid · how to sustain a conversation

26 26 Training on mental health problems, Alzheimer · responsibility within an association · how to react with the elderly · how to help disorientated and alcoholic people · how to sustain a conversation · training on artistic practices · practical training with the elderly (for instance, to spend one day with an elderly person) role of the volunteer

27 27 The most often required training was notably on supporting people at the end of their lives and the on mental health problems, Alzheimer and depression. Concerning the help we can provide them with in their mission, we find quite the same training requirements as above: practical help, information about the organization, information about the ederly, better understanding and better approach of elderly people, psychological support, technical and relational pieces of advice concerning the elderly, support, listening and search for solutions, presence of professionals if need be, material aid to accompany the elderly, better understanding of a person in difficulties, reformulation method, means of transport in order to enable the elderly to go out.

28 28 VIII The professionals Methodology 13 professionals who were questioned in the framework of this project. Their speeches are confronted with that of volunteers. We used the same grid and questionnaires for professionals and volunteers.

29 29 1. Professional choice Thus the choice to work "with elderly people" is not always a vocation yet sometimes an opportunity, which arises at one precise moment in the life of a human being. some people were initially volunteers (even training) before becoming professionals working with elderly people corresponded to the personal desire to work in an association

30 30 2. Words symbolizing action Organization, relational, rigour, Assistance, relational, professionalism Value, associative project, orientation Listen, availability, to give pleasure Service, information Social, relational, listening Project mediation, respect Brotherhood, utility, division Partnership, respect, project Humanity, good mood, culture

31 31 3. Difficulties encountered "the absence of hierarchical role which makes the statute of coordinated team more difficult ". "the communication which is blocked by the mother company" "the lack of recognition for my mission, my knowledge, my personality” as well as “precarious contracts (insufficient wages)".

32 32 One of the raised difficulties consists in : "the versatility of the mission". The last difficulty is directly linked to volunteers: "we always have to sensitize volunteers with formation and we have difficulties to make them express what their needs are"

33 33 The difficulties encountered are the following: Legitimacy of coordination jobs, Absence of homogeneity, Bursting of teams (regional establishment) Pay attention to the cohesion between volunteers Remain in contact with the two sides of industry No recognition (statutory and financial), Under exploitation of my professional potential, Limit in the commitment of volunteers Lack of implication in community life Bad organization compared to the working time Incomprehension, insecurity, impoverishment, conflicts

34 34 4. Resolution of problems

35 35 5. The relationship with hierarchy The relationship is good They are waiting for more communication with hierarchy, more listening, more intervention, more downward information, clearer directives, support and recognition.

36 36 They await a consultant role from hierarchy; they want a framing role, decision making, and especially a presence.

37 37 6. The competences of professionals Well done job Investment Listening Management Relation Knowledge of the social and administrative environment Knowledge of animation techniques, administrations, finances Availability Quickness Effectiveness, organization, relational direction Rigour, honesty, direction of responsibility, discretion, regularity, effectiveness, patience

38 38 7. Formation desired to improve practice BTS managing assistant, training to team management, Master of human resources, data processing, secretariat, gerontology, accountancy, project methodology.

39 39 Conclusion This analysis showed that the volunteers have undeniable qualities to carry out their mission. One of the main qualities they think they are endowed with is the ability to listen to the others. But how do we listen to people? This requires special competences (skills). Volunteers are moreover sometimes confronted with unacceptable realities: disease, lack of understanding, death. How can they face this?

40 40 All these questions set the limit for the volunteer’s job. Sometimes volunteers seem to consider themselves as professionals. That is why it’s essential to clarify what is their real position and to create a curriculum in order to improve their practices. Their relations with the professionals or with the other volunteers seem to be excellent. When they meet difficulties some of them address other volunteers who also meet difficulties. Even if professionals encounter difficulties, they are able to manage them all the same by using several strategies :

41 41 Search for information, taking initiatives Discussion with the training service and the team Try to remain calm Claim addressed to the general direction Put forward competences near the direction and colleague Try to obtain information Use persuasion


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