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The Potential of ICT in Supporting Domiciliary Care in Germany

  • Authors: Heidrun Mollenkopf, Ursula KloĆ©, Elke Olbermann & Guido Klumpp
    Editor: Christine Redecker
  • EUR Number: 24274 EN
  • Publication date: 2/2010

Abstract

This report documents the findings of the study on the potential of ICT in supporting the provision of domiciliary care, with particular attention to the case of immigrant care workers and informal caregivers in Germany. This country study was launched by JRC-IPTS in 2008 in parallel with two complementary country studies, assessing the situation in Spain and the UK, with the same focus and objectives. All three studies were prompted by the findings of a previous exploratory study on the use of ICT by immigrant care workers in Italy.
In Germany, the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for health and social care is playing an increasingly important role in the context of the demographic changes. As, on the one hand, people are getting older and the need for care is increasing, and, on the other hand, the number of formal and informal caregivers is decreasing, technical devices are seen as a possible solution to this dilemma. At the same time, people in need of care and their relatives have a tendency to informally employ private care assistants, often from migrant backgrounds, to assist those in need of care in their homes with daily tasks, so as to avoid and postpone their transferral into institutional care.
This report gives an overview on the situation of domiciliary care in Germany, outlining the current use of ICT in home care and by domiciliary caregivers. It investigates the opportunities for ICT in home care and identifies drivers and barriers for the deployment of ICT by caregivers with a particular focus on migrant care assistants. The research undertaken in this and the other national reports is exploratory in nature. The study employs a triangulation of methods, comprising desk-based analysis of existing reports and scientific publications; analysis of information and service web sites; and field work involving direct questioning of experts, service providers, and a sample of carers and care workers, including immigrants.

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