Expert Conference

Empowering Informal Carers in Montenegro, Serbia and Austria

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About Expert Conference

 The conference was hosted by the Red Cross of Montenegro and organized jointly with the Austrian Red Cross. With the title “Empowering Informal Carers in Montenegro, Serbia and Austria”, the aim of the conference was to create a broader understanding of informal care and to increase awareness on the situation of informal carers in the project regions. In total 54 participants from Europe’s public sector participated in the conference. Findings of the conference will be used as a basis for evidence-based advocacy in the project countries. 

Go to Speakers Go to Documents

Expert Conference

During the two-day conference, experts and key actors in the field of long-term care (LTC) discussed approaches and good practices for informal carers. In a series of parallel workshops, ideas among professionals and stakeholders were exchanged and key recommendations were developed and presented. Ms. Dana-Carmen Bachmann, EU Commission underlined in her video message that Informal care should be a choice rather then a necessity„. 

Panel Discussion

During the panel discussion it was highlighted that high quality long-term care empowers people & prevents poverty and social exclusion.

However most of the long-term care is provided by informal cares – especially by women. They often do not get enough attention and they need support“ (Jelena Sofranac, Director Nursing Home Podgorica) 


In a series of parallel workshops ideas among professionals and stakeholders were exchanged and key recommendations were developed and presented. Conference participants had the opportunity to closely work with experts in the field of LTC. During all workshops it was highlighted that a better understanding of informal care would need to be developed.

„We need good support services for informal carers, so that they can be relieved“ (Monika Wild, LTC Expert) 




Luis Arthurton, Phd
Communications and Policy Manager, Alzheimer`s Disease International (ADI)
Prior to joining ADI, Lewis was employed as an analyst, working within a global consultancy company specializing in market access, reimbursement and pricing for novel pharmaceuticals. Independently of this post, he participated in campaigns highlighting the link between antivaxxer conspiracy theories and antisemitism during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lewis holds a DPhil. in Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease from the University in Oxford.

Dana-Carmen Bachmann
Head of Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – EU Commission (online) 
Responsible for social protection policies at the European Commission. Prior to this, Ms. Bachmann was Head of Unit in DG EMPL and DG EAC responsible for Vocational Education and Training, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning. She also worked as a lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights. She has a bachelor’s degree in law from the Faculty of Law in Bucharest, a bachelor’s degree in European Law from University Paris I, and completed a master’s and postgraduate studies in international law and international relations and conflict resolution

Selma Kadi, PhD
Policy Researcher and Project Coordinator,
European Center for Social Welfare, Vienna
Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine at Tübingen University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Teesside University in the UK. Her research focuses on care, health and ageing. At the European Centre, Selma currently coordinates the InCARE project which develops innovative solutions for long-term care in the community.

Jelena Šofranac
Director of the Public Institution Nursing Home „Podgorica“
Psychologist and systemic family therapist. Prior to the position of the director of the Home, she worked for seven years in the Red Cross of Montenegro as a program coordinator for the areas of care for the elderly, psycho-social support and youth. She has been a member of several working groups at the national and international level for the development of strategic documents on the topic of older people and aging.

Natasa Todorovic
Health & Elder Abuse Prevention Expert, Red Cross of Serbia            
Psychologist with a Master’s in Public Health, and an accredited educator in the field of psychosocial support and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Working for the Red Cross of Serbia since 2001, responsible for programs and research focusing on: the rights of older persons and public advocacy. 

Monika Wild
Long-Term Care Expert, Austria       
Headed the health and social services at the Austrian Red Cross from 1993 to 2020. She teaches and lectures at various training and further education institutions and is deputy chairwoman of the Austrian Society for Case and Care Management. She has more than 40 years of experience in the field of nursing and care.