Demographic aging is among the most serious challenges Europe is facing. The demographic projections indicate that by 2060 30% of the European population (155 million) will be aged 65 or older – while today it is 19%.
(Source: Relationship-Based Home Care: A Sustainable Solution for Europe’s Elder Care Crisis; 2018 Global Coalition on Aging).
The scale of this phenomenon and the emerging limitations in the availability of institutional care for the elderly result in the need for a development of informal care services.
The most effective method of caring for an elderly person is the one provided in the place of residence, i.e. in its natural environment. This is the care provided by so-called informal caregivers (or natural caregivers or family caregivers) i.e. family members, neighbours, friends and relatives of an elderly person, and lasts as long as possible, primarily for health reasons of the elderly.
The HomeCare project is a response to the existing and widening lack of skills in providing home care for the elderly by adults in their close surroundings (currently in Europe, approximately 60% of caregivers for the elderly are their close relatives). These home caregivers usually use their own intuition and life experience rather than proven, substantive theoretical and practical knowledge. This deficiency of professional knowledge and skills in performing care functions usually results from the need to handle a completely new situation. Becoming a caregiver of a loved one is frequently not an independent choice of a person, but it happens as a result of a sudden event or a problem developing over time due to a health condition of the person under care.
Hence the initiative to create a learning path regarding the development of caring competences of informal carers of the elderly at home.