Involvement in music or sports clubs, “neighborhood help” for sick and elderly people, and much more: volunteering has a wide variety of faces: In Germany, more than 31 million people volunteer. This picture is also reflected in the district of Borken: More than 50 percent of those over 16 years of age support others in their free time. Since 1985 there has been a day of action on December 5, the “Volunteer Day”, to recognize and promote volunteer work.
One example is the “neighborhood help” for people in need of care, which the Borken district would like to establish across the district. Neighbors, friends, acquaintances or volunteers can offer support and relief services as part of the “neighborhood help” and thus support those in need of care and their relatives in everyday life. More than 14.000 people in need of care who are cared for at home in the district are entitled to the monthly relief amount of 125 euros from their care insurance. The contribution can be used to pay for services such as domestic help, everyday support, leisure activities such as reading aloud, playing cards, going for a walk or the like, as well as accompanying you when shopping or visiting the doctor. But the number of commercial providers for such services is not enough in the district to cover the supply needs. The district of Borken has recognized the problem and sees great potential in the “neighborhood help”, which is regulated in the Ordinance on Offers for Support in Everyday Life (AnFöVO), to find people who want to support people in need of care in everyday life.
“The relief contribution is only granted if services have actually been used that were provided by a qualified person. That's exactly where the problem lies, ”explains Christian Tewiele from the social department of the Borken district administration. The framework conditions for “neighborhood assistance” are now summarized in a guide. Interested people without sufficient knowledge can attend the newly developed course “Qualification for Neighborhood Help”. "I am glad that the AOK Nordwest has recognized the six-hour course so that it can be offered free of charge in the Borken district, regardless of which nursing care fund the course participants are insured with," says Tewiele. Unlike the multi-day care courses for relatives, which are also recognized as a qualification, the new course concept includes six units of 45 minutes each. “The participants are nevertheless very well prepared, because care is explicitly excluded from neighborhood help,” says Tewiele.
The requirements to be fulfilled for neighborhood helpers are manageable: You may not be related or related by marriage to the person in need of care up to the second degree, you may not live with them in the same household and must have a suitable qualification (e.g. the six-hour course). In addition, the help must be voluntary. As part of the relief amount of the long-term care insurance, an expense allowance can be paid to the voluntary neighborhood help, which should not exceed the minimum wage of currently 9,35 euros per hour (from January 1, 2021: 9,50 euros). This amount is tax-free for volunteers. A one-time recognition from the care insurance of the person in need of care is also necessary, in which the qualification is presented. Only one person may be looked after, it is not possible to switch between several people. As soon as several people in need of care are cared for, this is only possible on a mini-job basis.
"Since there is no age limit for neighborhood helpers, I see potential to inspire young people for social professions or care professions", explains District Director and Social Affairs Director Dr. Ansgar Hörster. "They have the opportunity to supplement their pocket money and, at best, they notice that contact with people in need of care, whether young or old, is exactly their thing." One could therefore imagine developing projects together with the local sponsors in the future, in which young people are specifically won over and accompanied for “neighborhood help”.
In addition to the providers of care courses in the Borken district, the senior citizens' office of the city of Bocholt, the AOK Nordwest and the regional office for old age, care and dementia in Münster were involved in developing the concept. “I am pleased that everyone involved immediately agreed to take part in the project. They deal with people in need of care on a daily basis, some of them offer support and relief services themselves and see that their needs are far from being covered, ”says Tewiele. It was clear from the start that the concept would not be seen as competition, but as a very good addition to the existing offer.
Further information on “Neighborhood Help” and a guide with important information is available on the care website of the Borken district at www.pflege-im-kreis-borken.de/nachbarschaftshilfe. Commercial providers of care and relief services are on www.pfaduia.nrw.de to find.
The following institutions offer courses for “Qualification for Neighborhood Help”:
- Caritas Bocholt, contact person: Inge Bihn, Tel. 02871 25131203, E-Mail: Inge.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Caritas Borken, contact person: Claudia Grave, Tel. 02861 945810, E-Mail: email@example.com
- DRK Borken, contact person: Susanne Biallas, Tel. 02861 8029158, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- LiA eV Bocholt, contact person: LiA district office, Tel. 02871 21765 66, email:
- St. Antonius-Hospital Gronau GmbH, contact person: Christiane Gerwing, Tel. 02565 9308 1317, E-Mail: email@example.com
- Klinikum Westmünsterland, contact person: Bärbel Tervoort, Tel. 02561 99 2099, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the current corona situation, no courses can currently be held. Interested parties can nevertheless contact the course providers now so that the dates for 2021 can be planned accordingly. Until at least March 31, 2021, neighborhood helpers will receive recognition from the long-term care insurance fund, even without qualifications, and can support those in need of care even in the currently difficult times while observing the current hygiene measures.
The photo of some of the members of the AG AnFöVO was taken before the corona pandemic: v. left: District Director Dr. Ansgar Hörster, Claudia Grave (Caritas Borken), Bärbel Tervoort (St. Marien-Pflegedienst), Susanne Biallas (DRK Borken), Andrea Hoffjann (LiA Bocholt), Christine Gerwing (St. Antonius Gronau), Jutta Ehlting (Seniorenbüro Bocholt), Inge Bihn (Caritas Bocholt), Christian Tewiele (Borken district)