The INNOVAGE-Eurocarers platform and current ICT-based services for informal carers of older people in Sweden
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Background: Different support services for family carersare available in Sweden through information andcommunication technologies (ICTs) since late 1990s, likeACTION, My Joice, IPPI, ‘The Gap’, and Carer Sweden’son-line ‘Carer’s Book’. The INNOVAGE-Eurocarersplatform aimed to complement the offer of web services tocarers through the provision of a new tailored package.
Methods: The Swedish pilot test enrolled around 50carers through contacts with professionals working withcarers in different municipalities. They could access thefollowing web-based services: information resources;individual support via e-mail and private messages; groupsupport via social network and forum. Periodical writingactivities were asked to active users in the forum,alternating expressive writing (EW) and time management(TM) writing tasks. Periodical reminders were sent in orderto increase user involvement.
Results: Users were predominantly older, female carers,of which two thirds were over 65 years old. The webplatform was perceived as a flexible tool, potentiallyaccessible at any time, which gave users the possibility toexploit their experience as carers with others in similarsituations. This peer exchange seemed to improve selfempowerment,sense of solidarity and mutual learning.However, usage of the web platform was limited due to thelow level of digital skills of some carers.
Conclusions: Although results confirmed usefulness andappropriateness of implemented web services, it isfundamental to address the issue of usability andaccessibility in order to ensure a wider accessibility. Anoption might be to offer initial digital skill training andcontinuous technical support for computer novices.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences Nursing Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-60335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-60335DiVA: diva2:1069764
8th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) European Region (ER) Congress, Symposium "Implementing web-based support services for family carers of older people in Europe: The INNOVAGE-Eurocarers web platform", Dublin, Ireland, April 23-26, 2015