The role of associations and foundations in promoting health gets stronger – low threshold services are needed

In Finland the associations and foundations – the so called third sector –  has an important function in promoting health and well-being of different age groups both in rehabilitation and preventive actions. There is a vast offering of services for children, youth, work aged and elderly individuals in the form of courses, peer group support, training and individual support. The third sector parties are often focused on a specific disease with rehabilitation or adjusting focus.  Often this means promoting physical and mental health and in many cases, good management and quality of life.

The forthcoming reform of social and health sector in Finland means more freedom for individuals what comes to choosing one’s services. Based on recent governmental guidelines (22.5.2017), the reform will strengthen the status of third sector, which is a very positive signal.

The remote solutions bring third sector support to the daily life independent of location

Our remote coaching solution for professionals has been piloted in over ten Finnish associations and foundations. Many of them have proceeded to remote courses and training and plan to grow these functions.  With the help of remote technology the good action models of associations can become more scalable and available where ever the support is needed the most. For example in group based courses many have difficulties to join the face to face meetings and fit it to one’s time schedule.  There can be various combinations of face to face meetings and remote meetings, depending on the needs.  Only the imagination is the limit in forming different kind of group and individual models for support.

The Rehabilitation Foundation in Finland is an important player in this field and their whole strategy is based on rehabilitation which is becoming more independent from time and space.

”The best benefit and impact of rehabilitation is created in the normal daily life of people. This makes the small decisions and habits crucial for rehabilitation. The people have their right for true rehabilitation, which means that the individual is active and the family and close ones are given an opportunity to join and support. This is where technology can have a huge meaning,” managing director Soile Kuitunen from Rehabilitation Foundation tells.

Luustoliitto (focused on osteoporosis and bone health) was the first association in Finland piloting remote coaching already in 2015. They have been offering open group rehabilitation and coaching for adjusting for people with osteoporosis. They aim at improving rehabilitation and daily performance in life, which also prevents expensive bone fractures.

– One rehabilitation course was conducted as part of our open rehabilitation services with mCoach remote coaching technology. Being able to join a remote course is important for customers who are not able to join rehabilitation in other ways. It’s possible that there is no rehabilitation available in their home area or they are unable to attend due to their work schedules or physical restrictions, the coordinator of self treatment in Luustoliitto, Pauliina Tamminen says.

Planning hing quality and effective courses requires consistent focus on developing processes both from the professional’s and the customer’s point of view. At its best the remote support fulfills the non-profit services in a scalable way. The remote technology can also increase cooperation between different associations, which can be beneficial for individuals. In addition to video calls and messaging, the remote support can be used to change daily habits with tailorable individual and group tasks

Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation of Finland got positive experiences and feedback of their remote course focusing on asthma. The participants found both remote tasks and peer support good. The participants got high quality knowledge to support for adjusting life with the disease and the course increased understanding related to asthma, its symptoms, how to deal with it and find holistic ways for self treatment. The professionals made video materials to the tailored remote coaching tasks with a basic equipment (see the blog photo).

”Support not dependent on time and space is clearly needed. When we combine professional and peer support yo remote coaching, we can serve our members in a comprehensive way, tells Regional planner Anu Sauliala from Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation.

As we have emphasized before, the most important thing in remote support is to bring another person close to other person’s daily living. The technological solutions should always be subsidiary but at the same time a tool for human to human communication, support and care between people.

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