A brand new study of the European Commission about the impact on society of EU-funded projects on Research and Innovation in technology for active and healthy ageing has been just released.
After an initial selection of more than 400 EU-funded projects, a group of almost 60 was selected for an in-depth analysis about the real impact of the project, during its lifetime and beyond. A total of 25 projects were finally identified as the ones having the most influence in Europe over the last 11 years.
Among the top 25 influential ICT for Active and Healthy Ageing projects, we can find Carer+ (Ageing well in the community and at home: developing digital competencies of care workers to improve the quality of life of older people) a project led by IPERIA L'Institut.
The overall hypothesis lying behind Carer+ project consists on the fact that care workers and carers are the « missing link » between the digital tools and elder people. On the one hand, care workers and carers across Europe, who are generally ICT-low skilled, can benefit from ICT training and tools in order to enhance the home care service they deliver, as well as to improve their professionalisation and job opportunities. On the other hand, once they have acquired the relevant homecare ICT skills, they can effectively address transmission, adaptation and comprehension requirements requested to introduce digital tools and options at elder households. As a result, elder people can acquire themselves ICT competences and become familiar with ICT tools and devices, which promotes their active ageing and quality of life.
In order to test this hypothesis, the Carer+ project aimed to identify and develop the ICT competences of care workers and informal carers (the “Digital Competence Framework”) by developing and implementing a set of learning paths and educational resources for mobile and work-based learning (available upon demand under SCORM request) 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+ consortium was a diverse, motivated group of European organisations that are committed to contributing to The Digital Agenda for Europe, making digital literacy and skills a priority for care workers and caregivers, and to Active Ageing. Led by IPERIA L’Institut (FR), it is composed by 13 organisations from 8 different EU Member States: Fédération des Particuliers Employeurs de France (FR), Télécentres Europe (BE), 3s Unternehmensberatung GmbH (AT), Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale (IT), Università degli Studi di Macerata (IT), King’s College London Learning Institute (UK), Arcola Research Ltd. (UK), European Distance and E-Learning Network (UK), Foundation EOS (RO), Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LV), Iniciativas Innovadoras (ES), and Latvijas Samariešu Apvienības (LV).