Informal carers ‘Track’ conference to be held on 21 June
Informal carers are the focus of a TRACK (for TRAining and recognition of informal Carers’ sKills) conference to be held on 21 June. The event brings together over 100 participants from multiple field of expertise, including informal carers, EU Institutions, European organisations, Vocational Education and Training providers, regional and local authorities, social partners, services providers, associations, NGOs, researchers and the partners of the project. It aims to provide assistance and support for carers by helping them return to the labour market.
Informal carers are people who provide care (usually unpaid) to someone with a chronic illness, a disability or any other long-lasting health or care needs, outside of a professional or formal framework. Informal carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care mainly as daughters (in law) and wives/partners. While caring for a relative can be source of personal satisfaction, it brings also its own set of challenges and difficulties. Indeed, the quality of life of carers is generally poorer than for society as a whole. Being a carer is often associated with poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression. Informal carers often face the specific difficulties attached to dementia without benefiting from adequate support. Informal carers of working age face significant difficulties to remain active on the labour market. Learning opportunities, in particular when embedded in a range of support services, are highly valued by informal carers, and recommended by health professionals, vocational training professionals as well as academic research. However, evidence shows that informal carers face a multiplicity of obstacles preventing them from accessing training, including a lack of information, self-awareness, opportunities at disposal and limited availability due to their caring responsibilities. The development of online support and training offers new ways to reach out to informal carers and provide them with new opportunities.