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The importance of respite care for everyone - explains the Potrafię Pomóc Foundation Founder

Publication Date: November 7, 2022
Post thumbnail - The importance of respite care for everyone - explains the Potrafię Pomóc Foundation Founder

1. Let us talk about respite services as such. What is especially notable in this kind of support?

I believe respite services are a unique and much-needed form of support because they draw attention to a group of people who are often forgotten. The closest family members, those who provide care for people with disabilities on a regular basis, who often devote all their time to that care. Like anybody else, carers also need a break. And respite services provide them with such a break, preventing burnout. It is often mistakenly assumed that the main beneficiary of respite support projects is the person living with disability, in need of care, or the elderly. However, the prime focus here is their family, people from their immediate environment. Of course, people with disabilities also benefit from respite projects.

2. The next International Short Break Association (ISBA) conference will be held in September 2023. Why should people attend?

Attending this conference is, among other things, an opportunity to see how respite programmes work in other countries. It will be a space in which we will share our experience and discuss possibilities of adopting particular ideas in our countries, where we will brainstorm to open up to new solutions and perhaps even improve them. The conference will also facilitate networking between organisations from different countries - this is always a very important aspect. An inspiring meeting among specialists is priceless.

3. The conference location, Wrocław and Lower Silesia - are they also assets of this year's edition?

Of course! On the one hand, the conference is a meeting of experts, specialists and professionals who can jointly develop innovative solutions, and on the other hand, it is an opportunity for participants to have a nice time in an interesting place - it is part of the conference programme. Lower Silesia and its capital, the city of Wrocław, have plenty to offer. Wrocław is one of the most beautiful, most visited Polish cities with a remarkable history and many modern attractions. You can read about some of them on our conference website. Lower Silesia also offers a wealth of different kinds of experience. Visiting tourists are usually delighted. I suggest that as you plan your visit for the conference, you might also consider spending a few extra days here to delve deeper into the city and the region.

4. Please, tell us about your Association/Foundation.

Our "Potrafię Pomóc" (I Can Help) Foundation was set up in Wrocław almost fifteen years ago. It emerged out of collaboration started between parents of children living with disabilities and rare diseases. We decided to work togeher to find solutions and help our children, to support other families who found themselves in a similar situation. This is how our story began, and today, the Foundation is a well-established organisation that supports around 10,000 people every year. We run the first respite care flat in Wrocław, which is also intended for people who are bedridden or require respiratory support or enteral feeding. We run assisted living projects and summer activities for children and young people with disabilities. Our initiatives in Wrocław include: Rehabilitation and Education Centre for Exceptional Children and Therapeutic Pre-school Facility for Exceptional Children. We have established the Bartłomiej Skrzyński Diagnostic and Therapeutic Centre for Rare Diseases, which is quite unique in the country, and we run the Accessibility Institute. We are happy to share ideas and keen to observe good practices, collaborate with other organisations, the local government and representatives of state institutions - we know very well that "More is Possible Together"!

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