Assisted living planned for Russian care homes for the disabled
As part of the reform of neuropsychiatric care homes, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation plans to introduce an assisted living service for patients in these facilities. Now, people with disabilities can live at home and receive professional help.
There are now around 150,000 people living in neuropsychiatric care homes in Russia, according to Izvestia. Among them are not only people with mental disabilities, but also people with other disabilities, including young people with mental and physical disabilities, as well as orphans.
“Those who find themselves in neuropsychiatric care homes will struggle to live on their own, even if they are capable. In this case, if there are people around them who do not do something for them but just help them to do it, as a result, they will gradually adapt to life. They can then live within the walls of their own apartment or house, rather than in public institutions, where they tend to lose all independent life skills. In these institutions, they lead dependent lifestyles, which are passive and they do not try to do things for themselves,” said Elena Topoleva, member of the working group on reform of the activities of neuropsychiatric institutions at the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation and member of the Public Chamber of the Russia Federation.
With the introduction of assisted living, these people can live in small apartments with dorms for five to eight people, social villages or their own homes with a special employee who has obtained the qualification of “Specialist in Social Support of People with Disabilities”. The professional standards will be developed in the near future. The proposal on assisted living was made by the Coordinating Council for Persons with Disabilities of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
Currently, the Fund to Support Children in Difficult Situations is conducting two pilot projects for assisted living in Nizhny Novgorod and Pskov. According to their results, regulatory documents at regional and federal levels will be developed. The NGO Rostock is also implementing forms of assisted living in the Pskov Region.
The working group discussed ways to support NGOs that are engaged in the development of this practice. “Their tasks include: firstly, to make this form of support part of the reform of neuropsychiatric care homes to develop this at a system level. Secondly, to understand how the NGOs that initiate these forms of support can interact with the authorities to receive support. Since this is difficult for them to do on their own, to fully rely on their own force is hard. When they have already proved their independence, efficiency and success, it would be right that the state help them in some way,” stresses Topoleva.
As well as assisted living, there is also assisted employment, which is practised in some regions, for example, in St. Petersburg and Pskov, and is now being implemented in Moscow.