3 September 2021
Seniors introduced to social inclusion measures
Within the Interreg V-A Latvian-Lithuanian Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014–2020 project OCTOPUS LLI-425 a social inclusion event for seniors took place in Jelgava and Auce.
The aim of the event was to promote socialization through activities appropriate to the age and interests of the target group, offering cultural, sports, educational and cognitive events. The event was attended by seniors from Jelgava, Auce and Vecumnieki counties. When developing the project, it was planned that this would be a cross-border event, where seniors from both Latvia and Lithuania would participate. After assessing the risks of Covid 19, it was decided to implement the activity in both countries separately. Both events are being filmed and the partners will share the results and lessons learned in an online cross-border seminar in September.
In Jelgava region, there were several places for seniors to visit. At the beginning of the day, the seniors met at the activity center “Zemgale”, where the first “ice-breaking” activity took place. The seniors got acquainted and shared their leisure time opportunities, visited the center and got acquainted with the activities and events organized for seniors. In the end, the participants made wax candles, but then everyone went to the Lielplatone manor, where they visited the exposition of the bell collection and the old-fashioned laundry house.
Later, in the day care center “Upe”, participants participated in physical activity – Nordic walking. As the seniors acknowledged, the information gained during the lesson about proper Nordic walking, warming up and cooling down will be useful when applied in practice. After a good workout, the seniors were introduced to the activities of the center, and everyone could try the calming effect of the sensory room. The sensory room as a social inclusion event has been open since April this year and is primarily intended for seniors, children at risk, young people, families, as well as students of Lielplatones Primary School or Support Center.
The day care center “Upe” will start operating in January 2022. The day care center for people with mental disorders will offer classes such as cooking, gymnastics, handicrafts, various thematic activities, as well as specialist consultations.
In Auce, seniors visited the newly established multifunctional day center “White House”. The social worker of the center informed about the planned activities for seniors and young people. It is expected that visitors of the multifunctional day center will be able to improve their computer skills, culinary skills, play board and video games, as well as receive various services and assistance in important matters. The center has an equipped room for physiotherapist services. In the end, at the Auce Culture Center, the senior dance group “Randiņš” together with the participants of the event tried several dances.
In the evaluation questionnaires, participants indicated that in such exchange activities, they can learn different skills and learn from each other, diversify their daily lives and not feel lonely. The gained experience gave seniors positive emotions for a long time.
Project is co-financed by Interreg V-A Latvian-Lithuanian Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014–2020.
This article has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Zemgale planning region and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.