Greek Carers Network EPIONI
Member: NGO Premium
A Non-profit Organization
15 Victoros Ougko St., 10437 Metaxourgio, Greece
What are the issues at stake?
In Europe, according to Eurocarers, 80% of all care is provided by informal carers – i.e. people who provide unpaid care to someone with a chronic illness, disability or other long-lasting health or care need, outside of a professional or formal framework. The contribution of these carers constitutes a great resource for Greek society but their role is not always recognised. Delivering a wide range of support services such as personal care, housekeeping, transportation, care and financial management as well as emotional support, carers often offer the most comprehensive and desirable option for people in need of care.
Caring for a loved one can be a source of great personal satisfaction but it does create its own set of challenges. These can include physical and mental health problems, a feeling of isolation, difficulty in balancing paid work with care responsibilities, perhaps even financial worries as social provisions are cut back. Advances in medicine also mean that carers find themselves having to deliver more and more sophisticated levels of care, with very little training and minimal support.
EPIONI is a non-profit organization which is governed by its Board of Directors, supported by a Scientific Committee and an Audit Committee. The organization’s General Assembly takes place in December each year.
Our aim is to provide continuous and quality support services for individuals who work as informal, unpaid carers of family members or friends who are struggling with physical or mental illness, disability or addiction.
Our services include information and experience sharing on best practices, providing carers with practical advice and emotional support, as well as facilitating the development of problem-solving skills. We also strive to help service users identify and utilize available resources from their local communities. In order to further promote and materialize our vision for carers in Greece, EPIONI is also actively involved in promoting key policy changes through government legislation.
More specifically, our main goals can be summarized as follows:
1) Supporting Informal Carers in Greece, irrespective of their age or the particular health need of the person they are caring for.
2) Documenting and raising awareness about the significant contribution made by Carers to the Greek health and social care system and the economy as a whole, and of the need to safeguard this contribution;
3) Advocating for national policies that take account of carers, i.e. promote their social inclusion, the development of support services, enable them to remain active in paid employment and maintain a social life.