On 16 March, the JOIN Office hosted the second SOCIALCARE focus group meeting. These meetings are intended as an exchange platform between care organisations of the Brussels Capital Region and the JOIN Office. In this regard, the Brussels perspective is taken into account when creating the SOCIALCARE online platform for the elderly. The exchange of knowledge and cases therefore enables the JOIN Office to acquire insight into the work of care organisations at the local level.
For this particular session our main discussion point was the current map of elderly care in Belgium. We spoke of the different trends that are occurring at the local level and how initiatives such as SOCIALCARE could help strengthen the community.
As the care organisations are present in different communities in Brussels, the meetings also give us an insight into the challenges that the care organisations face due to fragmentation at the regional level. An additional challenge is that of outreach which is due to the diversity of languages spoken in the Belgian Capital.
Furthermore, what we dwelt upon was the motivational aspect of informal caregivers and volunteers. The basic question for the session was what motivates a person to volunteer? After debating on a number of theories and personal/ professional experiences, we managed to come up with some interesting conclusions.The next focus group meeting is scheduled for June.