The ageing of the EU population is one of the major public health challenges we face in the 21st century, as older adults who are in need of care will be more than double over the next few decades. The number of people aged 70 and older with activity limitations is expected to increase substantially over the next several decades. Concurrently, due to changing social dynamics, there will be a shrinking number of family members or paid caregivers available to care for them.

Family members constitute approximately 72% of paid and unpaid caregivers of the elderly with activity limitations. The great majority of caregivers (80%) provide care from one to five hours per day, while 76% of caregivers are unpaid.

Sustaining family caregivers and their ability to provide care at home or in the community is crucial to many countries’ health system. A key concern is that the continued reliance on family caregivers, without better recognition of their own support needs, could negatively affect the ability of family caregivers to provide care in the future and result in even greater emotional, physical and financial strains. This negative impact on the caregiver would likely affect quality of care and the quality of life of the care recipient and the rest of the family. Research has shown that unrelieved caregiver depression, exhaustion, financial concerns and other care related strain are major contributing factors to institutionalization, often resulting in higher public expenditures for nursing home costs.


The focus of IESEC project is to develop psycho-educational support and training for Ageing Specialists and for Senior Caregivers, aiming to increase employability and standards of the caregivers through specialized training and innovative empowerment.

The activities the IESEC Consortium will undertake to achieve these goals are:

  • Offer training, support and information services to assist Senior Caregivers’ professional and personal development related to education and employment in a European dimension;
  • Develop a common framework for the assessment, validation and recognition of informal and non-formal competences and skills concerning Senior Caregiving;
  • Propose a unified curriculum on Senior Caregiving fundamentals;
  • Provide training for Senior Caregivers to address medical treatments, caregiving strategies, long-term planning, behavioral challenges, successful ageing, and other related issues;
  • Provide training for Ageing Specialists: to support determining risk of older person to adverse outcomes; to identify the clinically deteriorating older person; to manage common illnesses, challenging behaviors, anticipatory care planning; to handle care management and case management; to learn ways of coping with the stresses and strains of being a caregiver, to discover ways to reduce frustrations and barriers in the caregiving experience;
  • Develop a workbook with basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to handle the challenges of caring for a senior and to be an effective Senior Caregiver;
  • Design pedagogical videos (using Cultural Pedagogical Tool) to empower Senior Caregivers to respond to the emotional challenges of caregiving;
  • Organise focus groups with Senior Caregivers to help them identify their emotional needs in a supportive environment;
  • Build a portal with information on elderly caregiving, human and informational resources


The IESEC project is being implemented by a transnational Consortium of 10 partners from Romania, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey, each of them bringing in expertise and know-how for both the smooth implementation of the project, as well as the development of high quality outcomes and provisions.

For more information about the IESEC Partners visit the "Partners" section.