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Carer+

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

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Summary

“Carer Plus- Developing digital competences of care workers to improve quality of life of older people” is a pilot project co-funded by the European Union and comprises partners from 8 European countries (France, Italy, Austria, United Kingdome, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and Belgium).

It uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to improve the domestic quality of life of care recipients by providing services that foster independent living and training by means of smartphones and tablets: fall prevention to communication services to support links with informal carers via health planners, health narrative records, cognitive stimulation and text-to-speech engines. The target groups are formal and informal carers, their trainers, older people, policy- and decision makers and associations of care recipients.

The Project Consortium plans to deliver “The European portal for the professionalisation of care workers and caregivers” as well as “The Competence Framework for digital knowledge and skills in domiciliary care work and caretaking”.

Carer Plus started in April 2012 and will conclude in 2015, so data on its sustainability are not available yet. In September 2013 started the pilot phase that ends in July 2014.In the pilot phase 200 carers have been involved in a training programme lasting 200 hours as part of a Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPD) and a further 50 informal carers participated via an Adult Learning Programme. At the same time, 250 care recipients were equipped with smartphones and tablets. The CARER+ e-learning platform provides learning materials for carers in each country supported by 5 mentors in every country. The training has been followed by a 6 months home care service provision period. In this phase, carers are developing their individual caring practices by using the applied ICT tools. The pilot process has been monitored, evaluated and researched continuously. An evaluation will be possible in the subsequent stages.

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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Carer+
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France
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01-04-2012
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01-03-2015
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The main aim is to contribute to the professionalisation of formal and informal home carers through active learning in the workplace taking into consideration the educational/training background of the carer and his/her working context.

Another objective is to use the internet and technology to help older people access qualified carers, personalised healthcare, transport and housing and to have a more active social life by facilitating communication with their families and others.

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The CARER+ project is driven by the innovative use of technology to enhance the digital skills of formal and informal carers and to improve the quality of life of older people at home.

With the availability of trained carers who can deliver higher quality of care, the social driver was to give care recipients additional options when deciding whether to remain at home or move to a nursing home.

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Yes Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
Yes Paid assistants
Yes Formal carers

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Not available

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Yes Independent Living
Yes Information and learning for carers
Yes Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
No Care coordination

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The initiative provides services for care recipients to live independently, information and ICT training group support, leisure for carers The project carries out the following services fall prevention to communication services to support links with informal carers via health planners, health narrative records, cognitive stimulation and text-to-speech engines..

The Project Consortium plans to deliver:

1) The European portal for the professionalisation of formal and informal cares, which is a fundamental tool within this project. The portal is meant to be a single entry point for information, resources and networking, and targets stakeholders of the home care sector; to facilitate the identification and description of digital competences pertinent to the home care sector; to establish qualifications for care workers across European members states; to implement a coherent provision of adult education opportunities aimed at developing and validating the digital competences of Europe home care workers; to centralise and ease exchange of knowledge and experiences related to the development of digital competences in this care sector.

2) The Competence Framework for digital knowledge and skills in home care work and caring that will serve as a reference structure for competency development of formal and informal carers, as well as allowing vocational education and training providers to effectively design and plan training programmes. The framework will be accessible as a downloadable publication, but also as a Competence wiki, for online co-editing and creation of content, that will contain the description of each competence within the framework.

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Smartphones and tablets. The technological supports used by carers and/or care recipients are:

  • Complex Smart Networked Objects enabled with WiFi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, 3G+, LED, and RFID technologies integrating all-in-one solutions for eInclusion and eHealth.

  • Simple Smart Networked Objects enabled with WiFi, 3G+, and RFID technologies integrating all-in-one solutions for e-Inclusion.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Both public and private
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Other: please specify
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Public research funding: European Union: the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme. Area: CIP-ICT-PSP.2011.3.2 - Digital competences and social inclusion

Other: the research consortium made of both private and public organisations:

  • Institut Fepem de l'Emploi Familial Association (Project Coordinator);
  • Ubiquiet and Fédération des Particuliers Employeurs (France);
  • 3S Unternehmensberatung Gmbh (Austria);
  • Telecentre-Europe Aisbl (Belgium);
  • Università Degli Studi Di Macerata and Istituto Per La Ricerca Sociale Scarl (Italy);
  • Latvijas Samariesu Apvieniba and Latvijas Informacijas Un Komunikacijas Tehnologijas Asociacija (Republic of Latvia);
  • Fundatia EOS - Educating for an Open Society (Romania);
  • Regionforbundet I Kalmar Lan (Sweden);
  • King's College London, European Distance and E-Learning Network Lbg and Arcola Research Llp (United Kingdom).

 

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Other: please specify
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Private companies of the research consortium.

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Not available

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Until its conclusion in 2015, there won’t be any information about the sustainability plan of the initiative and if any change of the service provision is expected, in terms of target users, co-payments, funding etc.

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Total budget of €3.974.054,00 for 3 years co-funded by the EU with €1.987.127,00.

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Yes Authorities
Yes Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
Yes Private Companies

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Not available

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Not applicable
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Yes Informal Carers
No Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
Yes Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers

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The project staff includes care professionals, sociologists, researches and technicians.

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Not involved

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501 - 1,000
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In the pilot phase 250 informal carers and 250 care recipients have been involved, but about 1000 users are expected to be reached after the project's first phase that ends in July 2014.

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The main promotional tools are press releases, leaflets, posters and online publications. Other communication channels are workshops, conferences, panels with Europeans experts and stakeholders from all care sectors.

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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Not available

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Not available

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Not available

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Strengths

  1. The project allows the development of a pervasive technological environment for personal and professional development, supported by a pedagogical approach to active cooperation (peer-to-peer and intergenerational learning), that includes engagement with the use of complex and simple Smart Networking Objects.
  2. The project website is exhaustive, user-friendly, up-to-date regarding a list of deliverables and publications.

Weaknesses:

  1. The project ends its pilot phase in July 2014 and there is no evidence available yet about its usefulness and efficiency.

Opportunities:

  1. The project has been requested to respond to major challenges to the professionalisation of carers (access to technology, formal accreditation, recognition of prior experience, flexibility of study modes, isolation, lack of support and motivation, and scalability) through the European portal for the professionalisation of formal and informal cares and the Competence Framework for digital knowledge and skills in home care work and caring. These two instruments aims to provide the opportunity of collecting information and resources, establishing common qualifications for care workers across Europe, fixing competencies standards, developing competences and planning common training courses for formal and informal carers.

Threats:

  1. To disseminate the project results to a wider public. The professionalisation of home care workers and carers cannot be attained without the involvement of local, regional and national actors working in the sector. For this reason, CARER+ has to face the challenge of raising awareness and promoting consensus by means of the harmonisation of digital competency standards across the EU.
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At the end of the piloting phase (July 2014), a transferability toolkit will be provided to other organisations and countries. It is made of resources and tools developed within the project, such as the framework for digital competences for care workers, the learning pathways and the learning resources for social care and ICT.

The CARER+ webpage http://www.carerplusproject.eu/category/about/ describes the service in different languages, which could enhance its likelihood to be exported and increase the number of users, however, this will depend on its final results and impact assessment at the end of 2015.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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Stéphanie Vincent
Directrice du pôle numérique et innovations
Institut Iperia – Pôle numérique et Innovations
79, rue Monceau -75008 Paris
Tel: + 33 180 480 919
E-mail: stephanie.vincent@iperia.eu

For information on dissemination and networking contact:
Eva SUBA
Communication and Networking
EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat
Budapest University of Technology and Economics
H-1111 Budapest, Egry J. u. 1.,
Tel: 0036-1-463-1628
E-mail: suba@eden-online.org