Place4Carers was born from the idea of promoting the participation and active involvement (engagement) of family caregivers of elderly people residing in the mountain area of Valle Camonica, in order to co-design new social and health services responding to their needs and support expectations.
Funded by the Cariplo Foundation and coordinated by the Università del Sacro Cuore in Milan, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, NEED Institute and Area Ricerca Innovazione e Sviluppo of the Valle Camonica ATSP, the project is shaped as a community-based participatory research, with the goal of co-generating, developing and implementing a new social and community service in the remote and rural areas of Valle Camonica. In particular, it intended to implement the principles of Ageing in place in these territories, which is, the enhancement of active and healthy aging in people’s living places.
In order to do so, it was essential to make family caregivers involved in the support and assistance of their loved ones.
It should also be emphasized that in remote and rural areas, caregivers find themselves having to face much more complex challenges than those who live in cities, also due to the greater difficulty in accessing services. Based on these premises, Place4Carers intended to support and develop the involvement and engagement of family caregivers of senior citizens, in close collaboration with socio-health workers and researchers, with the aim of implementing new services and giving them greater support, giving them a main role in the welfare system. A further objective of the project was to test the possibility to recreate this co-generated service with caregivers involved in contexts similar to that of Valle Camonica. The project, which began in May 2018, not only contributed to increasing scientific knowledge on the issues of Aging in place and the active involvement of caregivers, but also offered specific food for thoughts on the most appropriate interventions to support family members in remote and rural areas such as those in Valle Camonica. On November 18, 2020, on the last day of the project, an online meeting was held during which all operators presented the results and discussed the importance of the role played by family caregivers. The recording of the final webinair is available here.