Flanders has 600,000 caregivers. They are an important pillar in the socialisation of care. Because of the nature of their care task, they are often at risk of social isolation and feelings of depression. Caregivers imply that the main issue they experience in the support of their care task is finding accessible information, ‘psychosocial support’, and respite care. European studies suggest that IT support can help caregivers to improve their care task and increase their personal well-being.
With the project ‘InTouch’, !DROPS wants to investigate what the Flemish caregiver’s (psychosocial) needs and demands are. That way, we want to explore a solution to this social challenge from the angle of ‘digital innovation’. Within this project, the focus lies on the caregiver. By means of a co-creative process, we aim to develop and test one exploratory tool.
We will work with caregivers in creative labs in Koksijde, Veurne, and Bruges to find creative solutions to this challenge. For that purpose, we use innovative brainstorming methods and prototype the best ideas.
We are currently in the second half of this project. We have organised several creative sessions with caregivers in the three locations, which resulted in very concrete and usable ideas. We are now building a network of caregiver cafés and are mapping the caregivers’ needs so we can also offer them a supportive online tool. Moreover, we are creating a blueprint so that every municipality can get to work with our developed tools.
We will deliver in the summer of 2017.