Do you also need a Caregivers Hub in your organization, municipality or city?
Flanders has more than 600,000 informal caregivers: people who provide short-term or long-term and unpaid care for a sick or person in need of care in their environment. Research shows that caregivers run a greater risk of ending up in social isolation or developing feelings of depression. We wanted to change that with iDROPS.
We gathered informal caregivers from three West Flemish municipalities and asked them how they experience their care function. This showed that many of the respondents once suffered from depression while taking care of their neighbor. When asked what could change to improve the mental well-being of caregivers, some concrete needs emerged: social contact, accessible information, access to respite care, psychological help and direct contact with fellow sufferers.
With all the input we gathered, iDROPS got to work. In three towns, we set up a caregivers cafe, which is now entirely led by carers themselves. We also developed several training programs for both caregivers and professionals working with them. Finally, we also created an online platform which carers can use to interact with each other and social services.
iDROPS notices the need for a structural support system for caregivers, also in other cities and towns. That’s why we combined our three supportive solutions into one package: the Caregivers Hub. It’s a tool that enables cities to offer their caregivers qualitative and multidisciplinary support in a short period of time. Moreover, the offered support is sustainable, which means that it’s not a temporary band aid, but a long-term solution for caregivers.
In the meantime, there is already an Informal Care Hub at 23 locations in Flanders.
Watch this video about caregivers (in Dutch).
Listen to our podcast about the info day on caregivers (in Dutch).
The Caregivers Hub is a three-part package, consisting of the Caregivers Cafe, the Caregivers College and the digital platform Caregivers Online.
The local Caregivers Cafe is a monthly gathering from and for carers in an open, cozy atmosphere. The initiative is started and led by a core group of caregiver volunteers. Everybody who takes care – however long that is – of a loved one in need, is welcome.
Regular websites are often a source of frustration for caregivers, as they are not user friendly and lack support. For this reason, Caregivers Online was created together with carers. This resulted in a low-threshold online platform with, among others, a search function, chat function, calendar with local activities and a newsfeed with local and general news. Check the Caregivers Online class here.
Caregivers and professionals indicate that they can use some support in their daily tasks. That’s why iDROPS developed several educations, which strengthen both carers and care professionals.
iDROPS created the Caregivers Hub specifically for cities and towns. It is an overarching tool that guides them in setting up a full support system for caregivers, which is kept running by the carers themselves in the end.
Is your city or town also in need of structural support for caregivers? You can join the project and create your own local Caregivers Hub. Contact Sven for more information!
With support of: