ESR11: ICT-based support services for informal caregivers: upgrading InformCare, a Europe-wide web-platform


Work package 3
ESR Alhassan Hassan
Supervisor Dr. Giovanni Lamura
Co-supervisor Prof. Mariët Hagedoorn
Host institution National institute of health and science on ageing, Italy
Contact ESR coming soon
Contact supervisor g.lamura@inrca.it

Objectives: To use the InformCare real-life tool to analyse and address specific challenges, in close connection with both European and national level carers organisations and researchers

In recent years, an increasing number of ICT-based solutions have been developed and implemented to support the everyday care tasks performed by informal, mainly family caregivers of dependent older people. Most of these initiatives, however, have been represented by short-term or low-scale pilot initiatives, and often unable of going beyond the experimental stage. One exception is constituted by InformCare, a Europe-wide web-platform run since 2015 by Eurocarers (the European Association of carer’s organisations involving also research centres working in these areas): http://www.eurocarers.org/InformCare. Following a 3-year, EU-funded research action aimed at designing and developing it, this unique hub offers today caregivers, in their own national language, information and advice about care activities as well as useful interactive tools to communicate with other peers, exchange experiences and provide mutual support. During its implementation phase, some challenges have emerged in terms of accessibility, usability and utility of its contents. In particular, the ESR will collect, through a mixed-method approach, qualitative and quantitative data concerning the use of the platform by family caregivers in some of the different countries reached by this tool, in order to understand the main benefits and difficulties experienced by them. Based on these data, the ESR will be able to formulate evidence-based suggestions on how to improve the platform, and possibly support at least part of their implementation. Thanks to the involvement of EUROCARERS, these improvements will be consequently disseminated across the network of carers organisations gathered under the umbrella of this European federation, through an ad-hoc training and information campaign.

Expected Results: The ESR involved in this project is expect to gain an empirically grounded, comprehensive picture of the ICT-based services that are most helpful in the support of family caregivers of older people. In particular, this will imply also a wide-ranging understanding of the main barriers that might prevent specific categories of caregivers (e.g. older, digitally less skilled family members) from using available ICT-based solutions, and the formulation of suggestions on how to best overcome such difficulties, using the InformCare platform as a real-life example.

Planned secondments:
Host Secondment supervisor Aim Duration
University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands Prof. Mariët Hagedoorn To gain insight into the use of EMI 3 months
Eurocarers, Belgium Stecy Yghemonos To learn about eHealth implementation from informal caregivers’ perspective 3 months

Outcomes