SupportCare, a European initiative aimed at addressing the challenges faced by informal caregivers, has released its first resource — the Self-Care Plan Workbook. This workbook is a vital tool designed to support caregivers in their journey toward enhanced mental and physical well-being.
According to WHO, dementia currently affects around 10 million people in the European Union and around 55 million worldwide. Alarmingly, these numbers are projected to double by 2030. Increasing understanding of the experience of dementia is crucial to meet the dementia challenge of an aging population. Generally, care for people with dementia can be organised in inpatient and outpatient care structures. However, in the EU, 60% of care is provided by informal caregivers, who play a central role in the provision of long-term care in Europe. Yet, despite the heavy price they often pay in their own health and economic status, they remain in the blind spot. Being a caregiver may involve considerable physical, psychological, economic and domestic challenges. Such challenges and stresses can severely affect aspects of caregivers’ health and well-being.
The first result developed within the SupportCare project is a Self-Care plan Workbook – an innovative “Self-care workbook” about the importance of self-care. This workbook equips caregivers with practical tools, tips, and real-life examples to guide them in creating their personalised self-care plans. The ultimate goal is to enhance their mental and physical health, providing them with the resilience they need to continue their invaluable caregiving journey. This open online workbook has a step-by-step approach within the framework of 6 topics: 1) what is self-care and why it’s important, 2) taking care of physical self-care, 3) taking care of psychological and emotional (also spiritual) self-care, 4) taking care of social self-care, 5) taking time for leisure, 6) building own self-care plan. To ensure accessibility, the workbook will be available in six languages: English, Italian, Greek, Belgian, Slovenian, and German.
The workbook has been carefully designed with SupportCARE partners to support informal caregivers in their journey towards improved mental and physical health through the practice of self-care.
To access and benefit from the Self-Care Plan Workbook, please visit HERE.
The partners will work towards the next steps of the project:
- A training for informal caregivers who take care of people with dementia developed, with the aim of making the caregivers more confident about their own abilities. The training also aims to reduce caregivers’ anxiety and stress, and to help them create better social relations with their patients. The training is based on virtual learning (e.g. e-learning), simulation techniques, immersive experience combined with an interactive reflection on the experience.
- Five “Self-care days” organised in Greece, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Slovenia to promote self-care, presenting the workbook, addressing the topics of self-care, and collecting feedback.
- An awareness raising campaign, aiming to reduce the stigma towards people with dementia and their caregivers based on positive intergroup contact with them.
A project website was developed and is available in every partner language, with information about the project, updates about the next steps, and access to the project’s deliverables.
Learn more about our project at: https://www.supportcare-project.eu/