Prolepsis Institute: A new initiative for supporting elders
June 13, 2019
The Prolepsis Institute is undertaking a new initiative in order to address the issue of the social isolation and loneliness of elders. In continuation of its research on issues concerning preventive medicine and its multiannual actions for informing and raising awareness, the Prolepsis Institute is designing a program in order to present the needs of this social group and to promote practices which could improve care, comradery and social solidarity towards elders.
Greece is one of the countries with the highest percentages of people over 65 years old (21.5% of the population, which corresponds to 2.3 million people). At the same time, about 24% of elders live alone. Apart from the decrease in the quality of life, social isolation and loneliness negatively impacts their health. 22% of elders in our country (529.000 people) are at risk of poverty or social isolation. In addition, more than 80% are facing a chronic disease, while over 53% have limited their activities due to health issues. Moreover, elders suffer worse and more directly after a natural disaster, as in the case of the destructive fires in East Attica.
Based on the above, the complete integration of elders into society via the appropriate measures and the adoption of good practices which are already implemented internationally are of vital importance. In order to cover the needs of this initiative, the Prolepsis Institute is collaborating with the international organization Les Petits Frères des Pauvres.
“We have joined forces with a major international organization with experience and valuable work in issues of elder support, aiming for the implementation of good practices which will help us effectively support elders. Elders constitute and must remain an important part of society. We only need to put ourselves in their shoes for a moment and think about what they might be experiencing on a daily basis, due to loneliness, isolation and possible mobility and other medical issues that they often face. It is the responsibility of all of us to stand by them”, says Mrs. Athina Linos, Professor in the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and President of the Prolepsis Institute.
At the same time, concerning elder support, every day, the Prolepsis Institute is right by the side of residents who are 65 years old and over who were affected by the destructive fires in East Attica. Since April, it has implemented the 365+ Days of Care program with the funding of the Non-Profit Greek Shipowners’ Social Welfare Company SYN-ENOSIS, offering breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. The meals are designed by the specialized scientific staff of the Institute based on the principles of healthy nutrition, as per the National Dietary Guidelines’ instructions.