Three days - Three parties - Three kilometres for everyone
From 21 October to 23 October, the students of the "Social Work in the Aging Society" programme visited the state capital Munich together with their director Theresia Wintergerst. The three-day programme started with a meeting in the Munich Social Department under the direction of Elisabeth Solchenberger from the Department of Geriatric Care and Nursing. The main focus was on the elderly and service centres, in which Munich plays a pioneering role in providing comprehensive, open care for the elderly in Germany. To date, there are 32 old people's and service centres (ASZ) there, which serve as contact points for the older generation. No one in Munich has a longer way than 3 kilometres to the nearest old people's and service centre; the construction of three more is already planned. The low-threshold offers of an ASZ can be as individual as their visitors, so there is there for example a regular lunch, group and course offers, lectures and promotion of the possibilities for the civic commitment. Educational and support offers are interlinked. On the following day, there was the opportunity to visit a selected ASZ in the centre of Munich - the ASZ Isarvorstadt - and to get an idea of one of these institutions. The ASZ Isarvorstadt is supervised by 5 social pedagogues, one administrator and one housekeeper. Due to its location in the "Isarvorstadt" district and its history, one focus of this ASZ is the provision of services for homosexual older people.
After the visit in the social department Munich it went on Monday to the federal state parliament, in order to speak with members of parliament. Still in Würzburg, the students, together with Mrs. Wintergerst, had thought about what concerns of senior citizens policy they would like to talk about. The great concern that was taken to Munich was the question of support and assistance for the municipalities with regard to open care for the elderly. The factions of the CSU, the SPD, the Free Voters and the Greens were asked for a discussion. Thereupon, three factions issued an invitation. First, the students met the Green Party's care policy spokesman Andreas Krahl. This was followed the next day by a meeting with Doris Rauscher of the SPD. At the same time she stood up for the right to be able to establish a senior citizens' advisory council in every municipality if senior citizens want to do so. It wants to use itself with its parliamentary group for it to embody this in the Bavarian senior participation law. A discussion also took place with Johann Häusler, the spokesman for work and senior citizens of the Free Voters.
The cultural life of Munich was not neglected: on Tuesday morning the group split up and visited the Pinakothek, where the students looked at pictures of old people in the change of epochs and analysed age pictures of men and women. The other group visited the Deutsches Museum.
At the end of the excursions on Wednesday, 23.10.2019, they went to Nuremberg to the meeting place Kirschgarten. There the students got to know an alternative form of living for the older society, the dementia housing community of the Caritas Social Center and Day Care Nuremberg North. There was the opportunity to talk to Barbara Klug - managing director of the social centre - about the dementia community and the low-threshold offer in the meeting place and to take along ideas for new forms of living and the integration and co-determination of relatives. Afterwards the dementia WG could be visited and its inhabitants got to know.
The students appreciated the extension of the scientific and theoretical learning contents by the expertise from practice. "The excursion has whetted their appetite for the field of work", they summed up.