European project CARER+ launched to develop care workers digital competences

An interdisciplinary and international team of 14 institutions launched the Carer+ project earlier this year for care-workers all around Europe. The project identifies and enhances ICT competences of care-workers who support older persons at home - anticipating a new and vital role for care workers. Introducing new, easy-to-use internet-based technology tools for older, in the next 3 years scientific research, a competence framework, curriculum and training tools in theory and practice, training for trainers and policy exchange visits as well as an open online learning space and community for care-workers will be put in place to realise the challenging aims of the project.

In today’s social care systems in most European countries, it is possible to receive the care needed at home, especially if one suffers from multiple chronic illnesses. Europe battles with an ageing society and with the financial crisis holding a firm grip on European economy, it becomes increasingly crucial to take a close look on social care systems in place. For many older citizens the transition to a life in need of care is accompanied by lack of qualified caregivers, an absence of basic services such as transportation, no access to appropriate housing, and loneliness. Recent research has shown that a growing number of older people can be encouraged to use online services, and that modern ICTs and AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) technologies can radically change their lives. The key mediator between technology and ever-day life of elderly people are the domiciliary care-workers.

CARER+ is there to care for care-workers. It will create a unique a list of ICT knowledge and skill-based competences for domiciliary care workers with related certification process for digital competences of care-workers. Based on this framework and non-formal hard and soft skills, a special learning environment and resources will be put in place and disseminated. To make sure, the CARER+ framework works in real-life conditions, the project will pilot its framework and methodology in 5 countries with 500 care-workers. Following the lessons learned during the pilot phase, a complete set of guidelines will be developed to ensure transferability for all areas of the field. News and updates on project events and activities will be continuously shared on the web, on social online platforms and at events.

This project is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.