The careNET consortium is happy to announce that based on a careful analysis, the Map of domains for common and specific digital competences for domiciliary care workers and care recipients aged 65+ years is now publicly available. The result of an analysis and description is to be published after collaborative exercises in the development process in two workshops, respectively outlining the methodological bottom up approach in relation to study the common and specific competences for the two target groups and elaborating on the map of domains of competence working with grouping and wording of the areas of competences.

The digital competences are defined by an analysis of ‘day-to-day’ activities in real context of work and life, against a background of affordances of available technology. The identified competences are described in the Map of domains of competence. Data has been collected in the careNET partnership, respectively in France, United  Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Spain, Denmark and Hungary to provide the content for the descriptions of the competence areas and interrelated competences in the Map of domains of competence. A survey with self-administered questionnaires has provided quantitative data from 130 care recipients’ and 108 care worker in domiciliary about their use of computer, the Internet and mobile phones for analysis concerning common digital competences. Focus group interviews and individual interviews have provided qualitative data from 27 older people and 20 care workers as first movers for analysis regarding specific digital competences for both target groups. In relation to the identification of  the Foundational Competences, the research on Digital Competence from the DIGCOMP project (Ferrari, 2012)  at the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Joint Research Centre has been used initially in relation to define areas the common competences. In the analysis of the data in the CareNET project there has been elaborated collaboratively in the partnership on grouping and wording the common and specific areas of competence for care recipients and care workers. The analysis of the data are validated in reviews from national stakeholders i.e. associations active in the field or experts.

The common digital competences for care recipients and care workers are the foundational areas of competence:
1.      Technological orientation,
2.      Information seeking and management,
3.      Communication, collaboration and participation,
4.      Creation of content and knowledge,
5.      Privacy and security
6.      Informed decision making and problem-solving.

The specific digital competences for the care recipients are the day-to-day areas of competences:
1.      Online transactions,
2.      Social connections,
3.      Wellbeing,
4.      Leisure,
5.      Community participation
6.      Self-expression.

The specific digital competences for the care workers are the vocational areas of competence:
1.      Care management and administration,
2.      Peer learning,
3.      Employability,
4.      Enabling the ICT use by others.

The Map of domains of competence is used in the careNET project to the design and develop learning paths and resources for the identified ICT competences for care recipients and care workers. These are tested in the pilot phase in Spain and France as the validation of the work.

The full report will be available publicly on the careNET project’s website.

Reference:
Ferrari, Anusca (2012): Digital Competence in Practice: An Analysis of Frameworks. JRC Technical Reports. Report EUR25351 EN

This conference, taking place on 25 November in Brussels, is the annual event of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA). The main aim of this year’s event is to show evidence and opportunities on two key issues, namely, how the current commitments and targets of EIP AHA can contribute to social and economic growth and jobs, and, how to scale up innovation within the care systems in response to the demographic challenge.

A major input to this high level debate will be the evidence collected from the Reference Sites and the first outcomes of the EIP-AHA where six large scale actions have been launched last year in November.

500+ participants are expected who will include national and regional authorities, health and social care professionals, industry, insurers and NGOs. The conference is by invitation.

More information

The CARER+ consortium finished its research for its Carer+ Digital Competence Framework. The purpose of a competence framework is to give a clear, systematic picture of what knowledge, skills and attitudes will make a person competent in certain area of work or study. The CARER+ Digital Competence Framework will provide care workers and caregivers with a reference tool that will help them assess their digital competence and plan their further development in an organised and outcome-oriented way. Using the framework, the caregiver will be able to tell what knowledge and skills he/she currently possesses, on what levels of mastery, and where best to aim further learning. Schools, teachers and trainer can make good use of the framework as well by structuring and facilitating their courses’ plans and objectives. It can also help employers to plan their staff’s professional development.

The Executive Summary of the publication is available now.

ageing-with-tablets-article-250pxlSeveral experiments assess the introduction of new information technology in seniors’ daily life. As the Austrian project “MyTablet” or the Georgian service of the Blue Hair Technology Group, CareNET decided to experiment tablets offering a training support as prerequisite to develop its numerous uses.

These projects identify tablet as the appropriate device to introduce new technology to seniors. The easy use of tablets is the first argument for this choice. The touch screens are considered as an intuitive interface that people at every age can handle, especially older people who may live with challenges. The tablet is adapted to frail people as an easy tool to use. These also have wireless access to the Internet everywhere, with broadband support. A third quality is the visual appearance of tablets that distinguishes them from computers.

While he device appears elderly-friendly, it requires a support when introduced in older people’s life. Older people may first be frightened by this technology. The existence of experiments refers indeed to seniors’ needs of tutoring and learning to use tablets. To teach older people the Blue Hair Technology Group offers classes lasting an hour and half and online training videos like “Check out the weather on your Kindle Fire“. The MyTablet project proposes a lesson of two hours on the use of the tablet and a contact person for their questions and needs during the project’s lifetime.

Thanks to this support, seniors are empowered to incorporate technology to their daily life. Tablets mainly allow them to have a mobile connection to the Internet. They can contact their families and friends online through several applications like FaceTime, Skype and e-mail accounts. They may also change habits in their hobbies online like reading books  thanks to adjustable font size. The CareNET Map of competences identifies some other benefits of tablets like self-expression, online transactions or well-being.

To support your relatives on how to use a tablet, read the UK Older People’s Day instructions: Get older people using iPads & Apps!

References :
Enhancing the Social Inclusion of Seniors by Using Tablets as a Main Gateway to the World Wide Web
Seniors Learn to Use Tablets in Georgia — TechSoup Local Impact Map Profile
Get older people using iPads & Apps
Author: Laure Lhermet

Studies show that the online activities of the elderly suggest that they do more or less the same online as most other age groups – that is, communication and searching for  information as well as using online services. E-mailing and keeping in touch with their children are the main reasons why many seniors started to learn using computers.
However, these studies also show, that many elderly people resist technology through the lack of security associated with the web, and they are very concerned about unpleasant experiences. Another very common fear is that a computer and the internet is just “too difficult”.

Finerday is a solution developed as a free, safe, easy to use, online communication web service for families to keep in touch with each other. It has been designed to look as cool to a ten-year-old as it is easy and intuitive to use for a ninety-five-year old. At the same time Finerday.com can be an inspiration of nurses and care workers who wanted the recipients to be more connected to their families, especially the grandchildren.

This social network allows you to share photos, send and receive messages, see special dates for birthdays and anniversaries, write and share memories and even use simple links to useful websites, at the touch of a button. The first steps are supported by several instructional videos, and all the buttons and texts are presented in large and contrasted make them easy to use for old people as well.

This secure platform has been successfully piloted in care homes and is being used by several leading digital inclusion organisation in the UK and Australia.

Sources:
http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-age-literature/#how
http://www.onefinerday.com/

Author: Barbara Lázár

main_bgOne of the great assets in the CareNET project that while its focus is specific, the results and the methodology used is highly interesting for other organisations and collaborations in the vocational training world or digital competence development in care. To ignite synergies and collaborations and exchange experiences, the project was recently presented at EDEN’s SYNERGY Workshop in October in Budapest.

The Workshop gathered over 40 projects and more than 100 participants from around Europe on site and online. The event took place over a long week-end and was a combined face-to-face and online event. The unusual programme allowed flash presentations of the projects present and supported deep conversations in the working groups around several themes. CareNET was presented in the Project Fairground and contributed to discussions around digital competences in vocational education and training. A short presentation is included in the Book of Projects of the workshop as well.

Several discussions with related initiatives took place (VETWORK, VM-Pass, LeHo, MedAssess).

We are looking forward to further collaborations.

MobileThe use of mobile phone may pose problems for the elderly, but also can, significantly, improve their quality of life. Therefore “Fundación Alzheimer España” conducted a study that provides some indications that may help to choose the most suitable mobile phone for seniors. The mobile phone, according to their study, offers important advantages for the elderly such as:

  • The ability to automatically call someone if they have a problem.
  • The safety that the mobile transmits to them when they are moving alone.
  • The feeling of being safe if they are alone.

Given that they may have impaired vision it is very useful if the size of the phone is “large” in order to grasp it easily, with bright colours, but not flashy, that can be easily located and visible. A good example of this kind of mobile phone could be a white casing, with black buttons and white numbers. The screen should have high contrast combining white and black with large text size. Is desirable the buttons to be large and spaced and with some relief to differentiate better.

Since older people, sometimes, have difficulties to hear properly it should be possible to adjust the volume of incoming calls and the phone’s handset to their needs. The terminal must support the headset, so that the sound is not fitted.

It is interesting to be able to remove or block Internet services (video calls, etc) if the senior does not want to use, in order to avoid misleading. An excessive number of applications, such as games or graphics, may cause rejection of the person who may consider working with the phone too complicated and unattractive. Other applications could be useful like calendars, camera or  access to theirIt is also advisable devices with a battery that lasts longer than usual and with the possibility of incorporating a loudspeaker favourite newspapers.

Author: Jana Arribas Fontaneda