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Carers of older people in Europe

Objective

Objectives:

- To increase understanding about the changing role and capacity of the family carer and the state in the care of older people in Europe,
- To identify the best and most practical means of measuring carer needs and outcomes and test the feasibility, costs and benefits of using such techniques.
- To disseminate best practice in order to develop a partnership approach with family carers in the care of older people throughout Europe.

Against a background of rapidly changing expectations relating to the role of the family and the state in the care of older people, COPE aims to strengthen the role of the farnily carer as a partner in health care for older people throughout Europe. The strengthening of the role of the family carer requires the assessment of carer's needs, carer involvement in prioritising service response to meet carer and older people's needs and an evaluation of outcomes. COPE aims to bring together our existing knowledge into a common understanding of the changing state and family provision of health care for older people and the instruments required for strengthening the role of the family carer. As a result of the synthesis of knowledge the panners will have a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between the partner countries in relation to the role, capacity and expectations of health professionals and family carers in the care of older people in Europe.

Following this, a common approach will be adopted in field trials where an assessment of carers needs, involvement of carers in prioritising service response and outcomes assessment from a carers perspective will be undertaken within primary health care settings using a common approach to evaluation. Results and materials will be widely disseminated. A European Conference will be held to commit European health care institutions to a Statement for Action. This will boost further the process of change and move towards a culture of partnership between carers and practitioners as standard practice in primary health care for older people.

COPE will:
- promote partnership between primary health care practitioners and family carers from throughout Europe to identify, analyse and prioritise carer needs, and measure outcomes from a carers perspective;
- produce innovative material about the context in which care of older people is provided in Europe;
- promote collaboration at a European level to demonstrate and encourage good practice via field trial work;
- develop recommendations for promoting a quality culture in primary health care for older people in Europe and disseminate these recommendations widely in order to improve policy and practice.

Given the rapid demographic, cultural, social and economic transformations affecting European States, this practical approach to creating a partnership between carers and practitioners in primary health care for older people is an essential and urgent challenge if sustainable and affordable policies for the care of older people in Europe are to be fulfilled.

Keywords: general practice, Change Management, Assessment Tools, Family carers, Elderly, Quality.05 05

Funding Scheme

CON - Coordination of research actions

Coordinator

University of Sheffield
Address
Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
United Kingdom