They are today 11 million. One in six French people is a "caregiver", one of those people who supports a dependent family member by spending time, whether it's a few hours a week or his entire schedule. Caregivers who for a long time have not been considered by society, even though they themselves face an increased risk of work stoppages while still in work, illness and even an excess mortality.
Recently, the government has seized the issue. Starting next year, for example, caregivers will be entitled to paid leave. But many initiatives have developed in parallel to help carers. Europe 1 has reviewed some of them in its program "La France Bouge" on Wednesday.
"Cafes" to meet and listen to each other
While carers often feel alone in their task, the French Association of Caregivers has developed "cafés" throughout the country. "These are places, times and spaces where people meet, share a lot," says Florence Leduc president of the association. The first opened in Paris in 2013, and there are 215 in France today. "We do not open cafes for carers like that, it's in partnership with associations, hospital federations."
Florence Leduc welcomes the "mutual help" that comes with these cafes. "People see each other, have a picnic together". Caregivers come here for information, but also come to "allow themselves to speak, feel listened to and listen to others".
A remote personal assistant for the caregiver
It is also for information-seeking helpers that Christine Lamidel founded Tilia, a listening platform that goes far beyond that. For a monthly fee of 45 euros, carers can, via Tilia, access personal assistants available daily, 24 hours a day, via chat or phone. "The idea is to say that at any time we need to solicit someone," says one who is intrapreneur at BNP Paribas.
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Someone who will, therefore, give information but can also do much more. "He will make the appointments with the occupational therapist, the physiotherapist, the carer or the nurse, make an estimate to build a walk-in shower.I wanted a most complete offer, the most comprehensive and customized possible. "
One way to take careers off a bit of mental stress. "I wanted someone who could relieve, relay, as a personal assistant who can organize in [the] place of caregivers, complete Christine Lamidel.
While the government is preparing to create paid leave for caregivers, the issue of holidays remains sensitive for them and their dependent relatives. How to leave, when we can not leave the helped alone? How to leave with him, when his condition requires adapted equipment? It is to answer these questions that the Association Vacances Repit Familles (VRF), now headed by Jacques Cecillon, has come together. It organizes stays with establishments that can receive helpers and helpers.
"We realized that if we manage to ensure proper care, we secure and allow the caregiver to breathe and breathe," he says. VRF has two objectives: first, "do not separate the carer and the carer", so that there is "no feeling of abandonment". On the other hand, ensure that the caregiver has "access to a real vacation". For this reason, in these institutions, staff can take care of the caregiver while the caregiver has the opportunity to do other activities, and thus have "respite". The places are for the moment very limited. This is where the whole point of these initiatives lies: in democratization.