IMG_0026A small delegation from Diakonie Bremen, lead by Dr. Jürgen Stein, has just completed a two day visit to the headquarters of the CSD Diaconia Valdese in Torre Pellice.  Dr Stein and his colleagues presented information ranging from the training and preparation of elder care nurses in their special school in Bremen with the use of carefully selected case studies to sensitize students to the ethical questions they will be asked to face in their working lives.  Another important presentation explained how Diakonie Bremen manages its home care services to elderly people and how it can advise families on when it might be best to move the older person to a supervised housing situation.  A main theme of the training was the attempt to foresee and thus prepare for future challenges in the field of elder care, as we all are faced with challenges like an ever rising percentage of the population entering the older age brackets, a reduction in support for the costs of elder care from the public sector and competition from for-profit care providers.

Taking part in the discussions from the Waldensian side were the President and Vice President of the CSD, the Executive Secretary of the CSD, the Director of all the structures and projects in the Waldensian Valleys, the directors of the three elder care facilities of the Diaconia Valdese in the area and those of two other structures connected to the Waldensian Church.  In each case, the Chair of the structure’s oversight committee accompanied the director.  CSD President Giovanni Comba remarked:  “We felt it was important to include both hands- on managers of our Diaconia and those with policy making responsibilities in this encounter of exchange and reflection with our counterparts from Bremen.”

In the last part of the seminar, participants split into two groups to address questions of particular interest, including how to cut costs without compromising quality, what strategies can help in keeping the older person in his or her home as long as possible, what kind of information campaigns can best help raise public awareness about the potentialities but also the special needs of elderly people and how to provide quality care to guests coming from other cultures.  In a final step, each group reported on its deliberations in plenary.  The decision to employ two translators aided full sharing of ideas and information.


Victoria Munsey


Find out more about Diaconia Valdese here (IT – EN)

Find out more about Diakonie Bremen here (DE)