Corporate patronage : Crédit Agricole Assurances supports volunteer caregivers
Crédit Agricole Assurances is providing support for volunteer caregivers by financing local projects throughout France. Part of the company's environmental and social responsibility (ESR) policy, this initiative coincides with the first National Caregivers' Day organised today by the Secretary of State for the elderly.
Caregivers play a vital role in intergenerational solidarity, helping in situations that we all may have to face one day. That is why Crédit Agricole Assurances has decided, as part of its ESR policy, to support community projects aimed at assisting volunteer caregivers. The initiative will mainly consist in funding local projects to provide rest periods, training and psychological support for caregivers, regardless of considerations (age, sickness, disability) relating to the person they are caring for. Several partnerships have already been formed, notably with the following organisations:
- Association Française des Aidants, to help consolidate and develop a network of "Caregivers' Cafés" throughout France. Run by social workers, these cafés will be places where caregivers can meet, talk and get information. Thus non-professionals who are helping a sick, dependent or disabled relative can exchange advice and personal experiences in the presence of an experienced psychologist.
- Fondation de France, via four of its programmes for disabled persons, the elderly, and people with psychological disorders or serious illnesses. In 2010, Crédit Agricole Assurances supports projects led by:
- "Le Pas", which organises regular physical activities for children with mental disabilities to give their parents a break from caring.
- AMASAD- Association Mutuelle Agricole de Soins à Domicile - , which is setting up a daycare centre where family caregivers can take their elderly relatives for a morning, afternoon or the whole day, and thus have a little time off.
- UNAFAM - Union Nationale des Amis et Familles de Malades Psychiques -, which is organising "REPIT breaks" (REPIT stands for "breathing, listening, sharing, informing and changing"), for mentally handicapped people and their families.
- "Le Pallium" health care network, which is setting up "Helium Wednesdays", a music, movement and art workshop for children, teenagers and their families hit by illness, giving both patients and family caregivers some much-needed time-out.
Crédit Agricole Assurances plans to put its commitment into action at regional level by launching a nationwide call for projects in 2011.
For more information, visit www.ca-assurances.com and www.journeedesaidants.fr
 There are currently some 4 million family caregivers in France. These are family members or volunteers who provide non-professional assistance for daily tasks to persons who have become dependent as a result of age, sickness or an accident.