The trainers of the TEC-MED project act as agents of change and progress for social and health interventions in Lebanon
The TEC-MED Project: “Development of a Transcultural social-ethical-care model for dependent populations in the Mediterranean basin” since its inception has aimed at creating an innovative, integrated, and patient-centered care model in six Mediterranean countries: Spain, Lebanon, Tunisia, Greece, Egypt, and Italy.
This new transcultural social and ethical model of care for old age will improve the care of older persons through an integrated assessment and interventions through an online platform.
For the first time in Lebanon, a platform is dedicated to serving older persons and their caregivers and provides resources to help them and address their needs.
IDRAAC, Institute for Development, Research, Defense, and Applied Attention the main TEC-MED partner in Lebanon, started the pilot phase in Lebanon in April 2022.
The first experiences were very enriching to the training agents carrying out the assessments, with an excellent learning curve that allowed them to get acquainted with a new model of care, platforms, and resources that are most importantly adapted to the local context and language.
From the first assessments, many advantages were evident:
- The comprehensiveness of the health and social assessment was shared by different stakeholders as it allowed to address both social and health components and reflected the views of both older persons and caregivers while providing immediate results through the innovative technological platform.
- Engagement of stakeholders (public and private establishments) in service delivery and interventions: by providing a tool to identify needs and proposed interventions and allow better communication between different parties offering services for older persons and caregivers.
- Provision of capacity-building services for social and health actors on the TEC-MED model and old age affairs: through the implementation of a capacity-building plan devised through consultations and assessments of needs with experts on old age affairs in Lebanon, the capacity-building plan was devised to address these needs through a series of capacity-building activities and events addressed to social and health actors. The capacity-building activities also address the needs of older persons and caregivers in terms of capacity building and training through resources integrated within the training platforms and outreach activities. The TEC-MED project was described as a communication opportunity between stakeholders and service providers and a promoter for networking efforts between stakeholders. Caregivers of older persons have also expressed their gratitude for the support offered to them as caregivers through the educational interventions and counseling by the Training agents which promoted their understanding of aging and its related conditions.
- Most importantly, older persons expressed their appreciation of a project which listens to their concerns, puts them in touch with people, decreases their social isolation, and promotes their social inclusion. Many older persons who were visited either in nursing homes or their own homes kept asking for the training agents to “visit them as frequently as possible” and share with them “a cup of coffee from time to time”. The TEC-MED project not only supports their health and social status but ultimately leads to an improvement in the well-being of older persons and their caregivers.
Finally, the training agents of the project, through this continuous training and capacity-building effort, will surely act as agents of change and progress for social and health interventions in Lebanon. In addition, the community support and stakeholders’ engagement has been crucial in reinforcing the acceptability and outreach to older persons and the responsiveness in the provision of services.