EMPOWERCARE (EMPOWERing individuals & communities to manage their own CARE) was been awarded more than 4 million euros of European funding (via the European Regional Development Fund) as part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme.

To access the project resources, including evaluation reports, go to: empowercare.eu

This project, with a total budget of over 7 million euros, included 13 partners from the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The 2 Seas area is facing a common problem – rising demand for health and social care services by our growing older population – creating a pressing need to find new approaches.

In order to create resilient communities and reduce individual frailty and loneliness, EMPOWERCARE developed a holistic community asset approach using research-based solutions to respond to current gaps in the care of people in the target group (those ages 65+ and those aged 50+ with at least one chronic condition). EMPOWERCARE addressed the issues facing our societies concerning the care of our ageing population; older people were not being involved in decisions concerning their own health and wellbeing. In combining the work of a number of existing and tested partner solutions from across the 2 Seas area the project ensured that older people are at the forefront of improved technology and better care for within their communities. This not only improved their situation but also tackled the financial issues of an ageing population and improved social cohesion, and implemented a community of practice dedicated to the problem at hand.

EMPOWERCARE took a holistic approach, with 3 areas of activity:

Empowerment, Technology Strategies & Workforce Development resources. These contributed to a person-centred approach to care and technology knowledge transfer whilst reducing isolation/loneliness and increasing solidarity amongst older people. Community Asset Based Development approaches got to the heart of what matters most to local communities by harnessing skills and expertise of local people, co-creating innovations that make a real difference to lives, health and wellbeing. The project opposed a medical deficit model and instead focused on empowering people to take more responsibility for their care using technology and local services to keep them in work, healthy and motivated, having control over decisions that affect their health and wellbeing. Learning networks enhanced shared learning amongst professionals and families to ensure durability and transferability.

The Health and Europe Centre was the Lead Partner, working with:

  • Care Group H Hart (BE)

  • Kent County Council (UK)

  • Solidarity University (NL)

  • Nord Departmental Council (FR)

  • Province of Antwerp (BE)

  • University of Brighton (UK)

  • Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)

  • Not for profit Wieltjesgracht (BE)

  • Family Help NPO (BE)

  • Boone NV (BE)

  • SWVO (NL)

  • VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) (BE)

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