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Information and communication technologies for informal carers and paid assistants: benefits from micro-, meso-, and macro-levels

Stephanie Carretero,  James Stewart, Clara Centeno

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT)-based services for informal carers and paid assistants of older people living in the community. We cross-case analysed the effects of twelve initiatives in the EU, the USA and Canada, based on their individual analysis documented through interviews with promoters and a literature review. We carried out the cross-case analysis following a variables-oriented strategy on seven dimensions of impact at micro-, meso- and macro-levels: the quality of life of informal carers and paid assistants, quality of life of care recipients, quality of care, care efficiency and sustainability, acceptability, and infrastructure and accessibility. ICT-based services for informal carers and paid assistants improve the quality of life of older people and their carers and access to qualified care. They also generate savings which contribute to the sustainability of the care systems. These findings constitute a first look at the benefits of the use of ICT-based services for informal carers and paid assistants. Nevertheless, more research using experimental methods is needed to demonstrate the impact of these ICT-based services at meso- and macro-levels. This would help to support policy-makers to deploy these technologies for long-term care delivery.

Read the full study here: http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10433-015-0333-4