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Maret Ringmäe

  • Faculty of Design
  • Inter­action Design
  • MA
  • Bringing private guardians closer to the special care services provided by AS Hoolekandeteenused
  • Tutor: Riina Raudne,PhD and Reet Asmer

The times when people with special needs (physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities or mental health disorders) were kept out of society are changing and have already changed. Large special care homes, most of which were far from urban areas and people, are a thing of the past. The new direction is small family-like homes in the middle of the community. People with special needs are guided to manage their own lives, helped to find suitable jobs, and step by step integrated back into the surrounding community. The goal is to enable a person with special needs to live a full life.

However, people with special needs are not always able to cope with all the complexities of life on their own. For legal, financial or other matters, the court has appointed a guardian in charge of these matters, who is usually a close relative (private guardian) or a local authority (public guardian).

In my paper I explore the relationship that private guardians have with the special care service using the example of an Estonia-based care home company called AS Hoolekandeteenused. More specially I researched how guardians perceive the service and guardianship in general. AS Hoolekandeteenused provides a substitute home, daily living assistance and a special care service for people with special needs.

During my research it became clear that one of the problems is the nature of the communication between the guardians and employees of AS Hoolekandeteenused. The guardians feel that communication is very formal, there is no personal connection, and sometimes they do not even know the names of the employees which makes the guardians feel very uncomfortable.

My solution provides AS Hoolekandeteenused with a tool, a guardian onboarding programme, which helps guardians who come to the service to establish a better relationship with staff and the service provided.

I also suggest possible next steps for retaining guardians and integrating them into the daily activities of their loved one who is using the services of AS Hoolekandeteenused.