Briefly in English

Carers Finland

Carers Finland is an advocacy and support association for carers. Our mission is to improve the social status of families in informal care situations by e.g. influencing legislation and the public opinion. We exist for carers and their loved ones, local associations as well as all citizens, volunteers and professionals interested in informal care.

Our operations focus on

  • improving the status of carers and promoting the development of informal care
  • supporting local associations
  • and supporting carers’ wellbeing.

Together with local associations we

  • reach carers both within and without formal support
  • support families in many ways
  • influence to improve the status and quality of life of carers and their families
  • follow the social changes that affect families in informal care situations
  • evaluate the effects of these changes
  • develop our operations so that we can better support families in informal care situations.

Our operations include for example guidance and advice as well as training on issues related to informal care. Various development projects are carried out to support families in informal care situations. We also produce material for information and support.

Become a member

As a member in a local association, you will receive the quarterly “Lähellä” magazine, the service guide, the holiday and rehabilitation course guide (all in Finnish) as well as changing benefits from our co-operation partners and legal advice in case of a precedence.

You can join a local association online at www.omaishoitajat.fi/jasenasiat. If you don’t know which local association to join, you will be registered a member of the local association closest to you. The membership fee is €25 per year (in 2018).

By joining a local association you increase the weight of advocacy work. Together we are more.

Contact us

Central office

Hämeentie 105 A 18
00550 Helsinki
Finland
Tel +358 20 7806 500

Local associations https://omaishoitajat.fi/liiton-toiminta/paikallisyhdistykset/

Follow us on social media

 Facebook         facebook.com/omaishoitajaliitto

Twitter               twitter.com/omaishoito

Instagram         instagram.com/omaishoitajat

 

Who is a carer?

The term ‘carer’ can have different meanings for different people. Organisations for Carers Network Finland defines a carer as a person who provides care for a family member or a loved one who is unable to cope with everyday activities independently because of an illness, disability or some other special care need.

Informal care situations are often associated with caring for the elderly. However, many care receivers are adults at working age or children. Carers are for example parents of children with disabilities or adults who take care of their spouses or parents. Carers are therefore women and men at different ages.

The need for informal care can emerge in different ways; slowly, due to e.g. a progressive illness, or suddenly, due to e.g. an accident or a birth of a child with disability or chronical illness. Tasks and responsibilities within the family have to be reassigned when a family member’s ability to function changes.

Informal care in Finland

Informal care situations vary depending on how much and what kind of care is needed. Over one million Finns help their family members or loved ones in some way. It is estimated that there are about 350 000 so-called primary care givers and about 60 000 of them are in binding and demanding situations. Only about 44 000 people receive support for informal care that is granted by the municipalities according to the Act on Support for Informal Care. Thus, the majority of carers provide support without help from society.

Support for informal care

Support for informal care is an entity which consists of services to the care receiver and care allowance, leaves and support services to the carer.

Support is applied for from the care receiver’s municipality of residence. Support cases are usually handled by the (domestic services) case manager or a social worker for the elderly or the disabled. The official responsible for the support will make a home visit once the application has arrived.

Support for informal care is not a so-called subjective or absolute right, but the municipality reserves an annual allocation for it. The Act on Support for Informal Care defines the prerequisites for granting support and the minimum care allowance. Municipalities determine their own, more detailed criteria and care allowance classes which can vary from one municipality to another.

If the carer is eligible for support for informal care, an agreement is established between the carer and the municipality. The agreement includes a written care and service plan.

Other services

There are also other social and health care services that can help the carer or the family in informal care situation. These are for example home care (domestic services and home nursing), short-term care and daytime activities for the care receiver, services for the severely disabled (apartment modifications, transport services, personal assistance) and rehabilitation. More information is available from the social service office of the municipality.

Financial support secures the livelihood and compensates the costs that are caused by an illness or a disability. However, carers can also need mental support. Local associations and churches offer for example advice and information to carers and organise various peer support groups, events, holidays and training for carers. Local associations also provide opportunities for voluntary work and a forum for making a difference in society.

Useful links

Am I a Carer – First-Hand Guide to Informal Care

Information in different languages (The Association of Carers and loved ones in the capital region)

Information on social and health services (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)

Eurocarers – European Association Working for Carers

The International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO)