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Anticipating a new and vital role for care workers as a ‘Carer+’

Nowadays, the key mediator between ICT-based opportunities that can radically improve the quality of life of people ageing at home and their integration into older people lives stands in the available human resources represented by the care working sector and the competences they possess. They represent a critical component in any attempt to drive forward the agenda of improving the self-reliance and the quality of life of the ageing population.

Major inequalities exist amongst European countries with respect to the role of care workers and their ability to act as mediators or facilitators for the diffusion of ICT tools and services among older people. For most, there is little evidence of care-related ICT use among care workers, while in only a few, care workers play a significant role in domiciliary long term care and are increasingly involved in ICT projects. The development and uptake of ICT services via support carer is still limited and to a large extent their value remains unrecognised by care workers.