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Getting Migrant Carers On-Line. eInclusion Days, Digital Literacy workshop Brussels, 12 th October 2010. Andrea Schmidt Contact: [email protected] (Presentation prepared with inputs from Ricardo Rodrigues). A changing world will bring. ...and changing availability of care:.

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getting migrant carers on line

Getting Migrant Carers On-Line

eInclusion Days, Digital Literacy workshop

Brussels, 12th October 2010

Andrea SchmidtContact: [email protected]

(Presentation prepared with inputs from Ricardo Rodrigues)

a changing world will bring
A changing world will bring...

...and changing availability of care:

...changing care needs:

Prevalence of Dementia in Europe (2005)

“Support ratio”: number of women aged 45-64 for each 80 year-old

Source: Own calculations based on Alzheimer Europe (2006)

Source: Eurostat

home is where you re cared for
Home is where you’re cared for

Beneficiaries of institutional and home care in EU Member States (latest available year)

Institutional care confined to a minority

Home care is key for more people accessing care

Source: ECFIN (2009), European Centre 2009


Migrant care workers (MCWs)

  • Labour shortages in the care sector > pressure on informal care;
  • Demand e.g. for 24h care;
  • Budgetary constraints at state & household level;
  • Favourable policy settings: unregulated cash benefits

Targeting immigration of skilled labour for health and LTC sector:

“Legal” carers” (e.g. nurses employed by health sector) as well as...

…“grey markets of care”, particularly in home care:

Undocumentedcarershiredby private households

but mcws at the edge of society
But...MCWs- at the edge of society?

Social isolation

  • 24h presence required: psychological distress/loss of self-esteem
  • Cultural and language barriers

Quality concerns

  • Limited skills and experience: Poor knowledge on existing services, lack of training opportunities >> Impact on quality of care;
  • Lack of integration with formal care

Ethical concerns

  • Exploitation and lack of social protection;
  • Two-tier labour market through imperfect formalisation
  • Beggar-thy-neighbour policies? (Future) care gaps in sending countries and “brain drain” (qualified migration);
potential of ict in domiciliary care
Potential of ICT in domiciliary care

Source: Unpublished working paper, Lamura et al. (2010)

good practices 1 not specifically for mcws
Good practices (1) (not specifically for MCWs)

Sources: ACTION website; Carers UK website; Yeandle and Fry (2010), Kluzer et al. (2010), and Empirica/WRC (2010)

good practices 2
Good practices (2)

Sources: ACTION website; Carers UK website; Yeandle and Fry (2010), Kluzer et al. (2010), and Empirica/WRC (2010)

digital competence for mcws
Digital competence for MCWs


  • Accessibility
  • Availability
  • Safety
  • Ethical/legal concerns
  • Language skills

Digital skillsof MCWs:

…to understand




  • Effectivenetworking
  • Peer support
  • Increasedindependence
  • Increasedself-esteem
  • Increasedqualification

DC „involvestheconfidentandcriticaluseof IST forwork, leisureandcommunication[,…] underpinnedbybasicskills: theuseofcomputersto […] exchangeinformation, andtocommunicateandparticipate in collaborativenetworksvia the Internet.“ (European Council, 2006)

conclusions for further debate
Conclusions for further debate

Given the appropriate legal, technological and cognitive environment...

Digital competence can support MCWs at:

    • Emotional level: strengthening personal coping strategies and self-management, increasing social networks and independence
    • Professional level: improving qualification of MCWs, providing on-the-job and peer support, integrating them in the formal labor market
    • Societal level: Integrating MCWs better in the hosting country and in interacting with family caregivers

Yet, many challenges remain:

  • Lack of initiatives designed particularly for MCWs ( mother tongue)
  • Legal concerns (e.g. over information exchange, revealing identity)
  • Evidence-based knowledge on the benefits,impact and costs of ICT solutions especially in informal domiciliary long-term care