Digital literacy enables carers

DISCOVER project partner Dr Verina Waights explains why digital competency is vital for 21st century care and highlights an innovative solution for skills acquisition.

As the European population ages so the demands on health and social care are increasing, with a predicted rise in the costs of pensions and long term care of between 4-8% of GDP across Europe by 2025. This is coupled with financial constraints, such as the
current wide-spread recession and a predicted reduction in the ratio of people of working age to retirees from 4:1 to 2:1. This reduction in the working population also affects health care. As highlighted by Tonio Borg, European Health Commissioner, "An ageing population means a shrinking workforce, including fewer health professionals'. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 2 million vacancies in health care across the spectrum of services. Taking all these factors into account means it is unlikely that services will be able to meet the demands, resulting in family carers taking on more responsibilities. More...

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