Sincala: supporting informal carers through a whole-family and life course approach

In Europe, 80% of all chronically ill people are taken care of by informal carers, that is people (usually family members) who provide unpaid care outside of a professional or formal framework.

While caring for a loved one can be a source of great personal satisfaction, however it might also create challenges because of care burden, stress, fatigue and reconciliation issues. Therefore, a functional relationship among caregivers and care recipient needs to be supported. Furthermore, people belonging to different age groups and with different kinships to the care-recipient (young/adult children, grandchildren, spouses) can have different experiences and perspective on the burden of care, so it is necessary to take all of them into account in order to be able to provide comprehensive and effective support.

The Erasmus+ funded “SINCALA – INFORMAL CARERS: A WHOLE-FAMILY & LIFECOURSE APPROACH” programme will tackle these challenges by providing an intervention programme based on therapeutic narrative that can be used by professionals working with family carers to support them build resilience to maintain capacity to care.

The SINCALA consortium will work together to develop a set of innovative educational tools including a training programme based on the real needs of family carers. These evidence-based tools will benefit informal carers, adult educators and professionals such as psychologists, nurses, social workers, community workers, home care workers. The resources developed will include:

  • Tested pedagogical method based on narration adapted to different EU-country contexts, targeted on households who are caring for older dependent family members to increase their family-resilience
  • A guide for facilitators which will guide the narration-based workshops to help them identify and address issues that emerge among families, such as cases of caregiver burnout, elder abuse or other forms of domestic violence.
  • An e-Learning platform to transfer the results achieved and the lessons learned to a wider audience of professionals.

The educational programme, currently in its first phase, consists of a partnership between non-governmental organisations namely Women’s Support and Information Centre (Estonia), coordinator of the consortium, together with The University of Tartu (Estonia), the Union of Women Associations of Heraklion and Alzheimer Hellas (Greece), Anziani e non solo (Italy), CASO50+ Centro de Atendimento e Servicos 50+, Associacao (Portugal), Spominčica – Alzheimer Slovenija (Slovenia).

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