NEWS

A new fleet of vehicles at the service of those who are in the greatest need

The Home Help program has received a strong boost through 500 vehicles of different types that will be put at the disposal of municipalities so they can offer more effective services to the elderly and disabled. In a special ceremony at the Zappeion Hall on Tuesday, 247 of the 500 cars were handed over to municipal representatives in the presence of Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Health Minister Costas Stefanis, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis and Deputy Health Minister Dimitris Thanou. The rest of the cars will be delivered by the end of November. The Home Help program aims at providing organized social, nursing and home help to elderly and disabled people who live at home. Currently there are 285 such programs running in 253 municipalities, while approval has been given for another 750 which are in the works. The objective is for 1,000 programs to be in operation in municipalities amalgamated by the Capodistria project throughout Greece. The premier noted that the Home Help program is part of a range of policies for the aged that are based on support for the family. So 80 Elderly Daycare Centers are to be established near existing Centers for the Elderly (KAPH) in urban and suburban areas. They will offer shelter during the hours that other family members are at work. The health minister stated that an organized society must create models of support for citizens, and he called on the public to assist the program through volunteer work. He explained that the program employs 3,500 trained staff, including social workers, who also are responsible for locating individuals who need the services of the Home Help program, nurses and family aides. There are also 1,500 volunteers who are willing to offer their personal company and help elderly people get about and do tasks like home repairs and shopping. The first jay-walking tickets have been issued to pedestrians who cross against the lights or fail to use pedestrian crossings where available, putting their own lives at risk as well as causing accidents.