Social-care services play an important role in preserving and improving the quality of life and social protection for all people living in the EU. As underlined by the 2006 EU Communication on Social Services of General Interest, social services have an important role in meeting basic EU objectives such as social, economic and territorial cohesion, high employment, social inclusion and economic growth.
Within social services, carers are a growing workforce. There is a rising demand for carers that is deeply connected with the evolution of our society, which see the over 65 representing almost the 20% of the population in Europe. Therefore, Member States face an increasing demand for long-term qualified care, particularly for dependent seniors, but carers are often low skilled and have little opportunity to improve their position.
The rising question is therefore how to improve carers skills rapidly and effectively. At the same time there is a need to increase awareness of the standards of quality of life for care home residents among all stakeholders involved: professional staff, as well as volunteers and committed family members. It is important to find ways that help them to improve their knowledge and skills, to foster self-reflection, a change of perspective, as well as to enhance reciprocal comprehension and collaboration between all stakeholders involved. The final objective is to improve dependent old peoples’ quality of life in nursing homes. .
Aware of this situation and all the problems connected with the need of qualified carers, a very committed partnership supported by our Network is carrying out an interesting project aimed at developing new ways of training for carers. The project is called GAMLEC (Gaming for Mutual Learning in Elder Care) and its aim is to develop an innovative and easily accessible, cost-effective learning board game that makes the acquisition of knowledge about quality of life standards for dependent seniors simple, playful and sustainable. The GAMLEC games’ objective is to be appealing to a large number of people who deal with nursing home residents and, through the shared knowledge, to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between all those involved. Furthermore, users are offered the possibility to adapt the game to their specific needs. This allows for further developments and improvements.
Coordinated by IP-International, the partnership is composed of organisations that have hi-quality social-care services at the core of their interests: ISIS GmbH, Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas, AFEDemy, ASP Città di Bologna, and CADIAI. ARFIE is proud to support this interesting action and disseminate its results when they will be available.
The project has recently started but an important output is already accessible (available?), the compendium on standards for the quality of life of care home residents, which represents on one hand the source for the GAMLEC learning board game. On the other hand the document as such already offers valuable know-how for paid staff, volunteers and committed relatives.
All results and tools will be freely accessible and will be made available on the project’s e-learning platform as Open Educational Resource and will be free of charge for all users. The e-learning platform will also offer a forum for the exchange of experiences, discussion, suggestions for further development of the game and feedback.
Stay tuned to know more about GAMLEC!