The project began as a work-placement programme for 21 students (ages 15 to 18) from Riga secondary schools at Gaiezers, a residential care facility for elderly people. The work of Gaiezers, its clients, and their requirements were introduced to the 21 students over the course of three months (seven students per month).
The students accompanied and helped clients with a variety of activities, including walking, using technical aids, shopping, going to the library, seeing a doctor, and participating in crafts, reading books, newspapers, and journals, singing, playing board games and musical instruments, and exercising. Each student had a good opportunity to get to know clients, care providers, and some of the staff during their one-month work placement at Gaiezers.
The project allows for:
• a broader diversity of everyday activities for clients, allowing for daily variations in routine, as well as providing support when necessary with tasks like shopping, taking part in events, excursions, etc. Despite a staffing deficit, Gaiezers will continue to provide more activities to clients.
• Secondary school students will be informed about the care industry and introduced to their choice of careers and how they can acquire workplace skills.
Project aim: allowing Gaiezers' customers to interact with a larger diversity of people while also providing them with more possibilities to participate in activities they wouldn't typically have access to and enhancing secondary school students' employability by exposing them to the care profession and a workplace.