La’Cole, Sandra and Werner report from the study week in Dayton, Ohio.

This morning Jane and Beth came to class to talk about senior adults and community services for them. One of them works for the Greene County Council on Aging. The other one works for the alzheimer’s association. The Greene County Council on Aging does several things for seniors over sixty years old. I had the impression their service is similar to what we call the SPITEX.

Studierende in einem Klassenzimmer während einer Präsentation. Drei Studierende stehen vorne.

The alzheimer’s association works on a more international base. They try to help people with or without alzheimer or any form of dementia. They have a 24 hour helpline especially for caregivers. We discussed the costs of professional caregivers and nursing homes. In the US and in Switzerland,it is very expensive to have somebody who takes care of elderly people who can’t live on their own.

Afterwards we carried on with the presentation about substance abuse. The current number one problem of Dayton is heroin deaths. This is very different to our problems in Switzerland right now. But we until the early 90’s, many people died in Switzerland too because of heroin.

One of our current problems seems to be the question where elderly people with a history of substance abuse should spend their last days. Should nurses in nursery homes help those people with injecting medical heroin? This question started to become a big ethic discussion between the students. The last point in the presentation was Werners quick input about his bachelor’s thesis. During a project he made small pocket books for drug-related information for young people, who don’t adequately master the basic literacy skills (read and write).
After class, we went to the farewell dinner to Nick’s Bar and Grill and discussed more about our thoughts on politics in America versus in Switzerland. It was a good chance to get to know more about how other countries feel about drug prevention and politics. The controversy whether or not heroin should be passed out by nurses as if it were any other type of treatment drug or if it should only be given to patients who can administer the drug themselves, was very interesting.

Overall, today was full of controversial topics and it seems to be more about morals and where to draw the line between treatment and recreational drugs.