Care workers and carers are the missing link between the digital tools and elder people. CARERplus set out to support the link between care and better quality of life for elder people in the digital world. The project trained and enhanced the digital skills and competences of care workers and carers across Europe making the home care service they deliver better and improved the professionalisation and job opportunities of the participants.
The Carer+ project identified the ICT competences of care workers and informal carers (the “Digital Competence Framework”) and developed these by designing and implementing a set of learning paths and educational resources for mobile and work-based learning that responded to major challenges to their professionalisation: isolation, access to technology, flexibility of study modes, lack of support and motivation, formal accreditation, recognition of prior experience, and scalability.
The CARER+ partnership designed a tailor-made technological environment for self and professional development, supported by a blended-learning approach with peer-to-peer and intergenerational learning methodology. This programme was piloted in 13 sites across 5 countries (France, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain), with an average length of 10 months, involving a total of 500 users (250 older people who are cared for at home & 200 care workers and 50 informal caregivers). During the implementation of the training, all the care workers and informal carers were equipped with an Internet Tablet and completed their localised programmes. The positive impact of the piloting experience has been confirmed by the final impact assessment results. A majority of care workers and informal carers declared the homecare they delivered was enhanced an enriched by digital competences and tools: over a 70% would use a tablet device in their caring practice in the future. The survey showed that quality of life of the older people was improved, especially as regards the mental/emotional well-being, the attitudes toward ICTs and the capacity and competence to use ICTs.