Family caregivers have new website for information and advice


To mark Care Week, Flanders has launched an online portal to assist those providing care to others at home

Care Day this weekend

Informal care is in the spotlight today in the run-up to Flanders’ Dag van de Zorg, or Care Day. Some 20 mantelzorgcafés are being organised around the region, where people involved in caring for relatives or other dependents can exchange experiences and discover support organisations.

Meanwhile, the government of Flanders has marked the occasion by launching a website for its Informal Care Expertise Point, set up last year in the context of the region’s informal care plan.

“The preparatory process for the Flemish informal care plan revealed an unmistakable need to bring together knowledge and expertise that can be used by and for carers, professionals and policymakers,” explained health and welfare minister Jo Vandeurzen. “The Flemish Informal Care Expertise Point now does this by offering digital insights, data, knowledge, methodologies and advice on informal care via its website.”

The initial focus is the carers themselves, the aim being to provide them with a single source of information and advice. This advice has been put together through a collaboration with six recognised associations active in informal care, and with input from individual carers.

Help for young people

Topics on the site include the role of the informal carer, financial and other forms of support, and how to balance caring with employment. In future, particular attention will be paid to reaching more vulnerable informal carers, and young people who grow up in a family where someone has a care need.

A second phase of the website will be unveiled in June, with information to help professionals support informal carers.

Ghent University College is using Dag van de Zorg to spread the word about a training programme it offers for organisations who work with informal carers. The four-day course provides a theoretical basis and practical tools for guiding and supporting people caring for relatives and other loved ones.

Dag van de Zorg, 18 March, sees dozens of hospitals, clinics and care centres opening to the public for tours and other activities