care4care is an innovation to tackle the crisis in care faced by an ageing population.
The initiative introduces the concept of a delayed reward using the currency of "hours". It provides support for older people through reciprocal exchange – care provided by a person now in return for care for that same person later. This means that individuals offering care and support for the elderly earn entitlement for care and support when they need it later in life.
care4care aims to bring additional resources into the current system. It brings reciprocity into elderly care, and because the model is locally based, it increases community resilience by building meaningful trust relationships amongst neighbours. It’s based on the belief that the most important technology for older people is a pair of “helping hands” and that, through this new approach of combining altruism and intelligent self-interest, the quality of life of elderly people across the UK can be improved.
The care4care scheme has been in operation on the Isle of Wight since March 2012, in the framework of the European Year for Active Ageing. In that time, it has attracted around 250 members who have banked around 10,000 "care credits".
The scheme has helped tackle social isolation amongst older people, encouraged greater intergenerational exchange, and improved the wellbeing of its members. The project plans to take care4care to other parts of the UK, making it available nationwide by 2015 with a predicted membership of around 1,000,000 members.
care4care provides support for older people through mutual exchange. It is a partnership between The Young Foundation and Heinz Wolff, Emeritus Professor Bioengineering at Brunel University.
The Young Foundation|
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