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TRAining and recognition of informal Carers sKills
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2017 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Informal caregiving remains the backbone of care provision in Europe and for many dependent older people it is their preferred care option: family carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care mainly as daughters (in law) and wives/partners (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, 2010). The OECD study “Help wanted? Providing and Paying for the Long Term Care” published in 2011 states that “Supporting the role of informal carers (family and friends providing mostly unpaid care to frail seniors) is important to providing an adequate continuum between formal and informal care”. However, it points out that that combining work and caring duties can be difficult and can lead informal carers to quit their job or reduce their working hours, with negative effects on their career and social status. In fact, “providing personal care can be a demanding task that is incompatible with a full time job or with any type of paid employment”. The unpredictability of caring duties’ intensity, coupled with the lack of flexibility usually featuring the working world makes it difficult to maintain one’s job. In addition, the study highlights that socially disadvantaged families tend to engage more in caregiving and to have less employment opportunities. Without adequate support, informal caregiving might exacerbate employment and health inequalities for these groups of carers. It may also reduce the chances of working age carers to re-enter the labour market during or at the end of the caring spell. The project TRACK responds to the above-described needs by proposing a preventive action of education based on a strong cooperation between informal caregivers, training providers and care professionals. This action will address first specific competences for promoting independent living for care recipients (therefore by equipping caregivers with methods and approaches to actively involve care recipients, with due respect of her/his impairment, in daily activities). This is very relevant, as impaired seniors often have very different behaviours at home after a hospitalisation period, often refusing to react to disease, to be compliant with medication and therapies, and frequently avoiding to undertake daily activities that are still in their physical and mental capacity. This attitude usually worsen the illness, and speeds deterioration of mental and physical abilities. To this respect, caregiver attitude can effectively change the care recipient behaviour, if equipped with techniques and methods to promote independent living, therefore avoiding care as “pure assistance to illness”. The project will address also the development of transversal care competences (such as e.g. communication skills, care planning), and competences for the illness management of the care recipients (e.g. symptoms management). Finally, a support from professionals care workers is also foreseen, which should be arranged more as a mentoring, than as an intervention in special or urgent moments. The TRACK project aims therefore at designing, developing and testing a blended training programme addressing socially disadvantaged informal caregivers in the field of assistance and independent living enhancement for care recipients affected by dementia. Based on the results of the first three courses that will be carried out in France, Spain and Germany during the project, TRACK will develop assessment methods for the skills acquired by informal caregivers and provide a roadmap for the certification of such skills: this is expected to improve chances for employability of informal caregivers who have given up their job to assist care recipients full time or who are homemakers but would like (or need) to find a job to improve their economic and social condition. The action will be implemented transnationally in order to define a European framework for the delivery of the training programme and for the certification of the acquired skills.



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