Family strategies in eldercare in Hungary and the role of ICT: Skype Care Zsuzsa Széman Institute of Sociology, SR HAS Email:email@example.com IFA 11th Global Conference on Ageing 28 May - 01 June 2012 Prague
Patterns of care strategies of families1. Active family carer;2. Inactive family carer;3. Family carer receiving a care allowance;4. Family care with shared responsibility;5. Family employing legal carer;6. Family employing undocumented non-migrant carer;7. Family carer also with earnings on the black market;8. Family employing undocumented migrant carer – round the clock service, living in
What can they provide? Type 1-7 - physical help, care, nursing, transport, administration, etc and/or - mental help but Expect type 8, mental care does not meet the need of older people
Formal careMental care is part of help/care Pensioners’ club - for more mobile older people Home help/care – LCT at home – not enough Residential/nursing home - LCT in residential home – not enough---------------Other servicesMeals on wheels: social sectorHome nursing: health sector
Suicide in Hungary among older peopleSuicide attempts among old and very old people - great challenge in Hungary Cause may be loneliness, depression, no goal, decreased social network: Formal or informal carers know of them No reliable statistical data on suicide attempts*Successful suicides per 100,000 inhabitants* Male Female 60-64 y 51.7 14.9 80-84 y 127.6 27.5 85+ 160.6 28.5 Source: KSH 2009b, 24, 26.
1 year Action research in 2011Hypothesis Loneliness, depression of old care recipients will end of they are able to learn to use Skype Better quality of life
Sample, criteria of choice Cared for in the formal care system provided at home 15 persons capital (Budapest), (county seat, Székesfehérvár (5) Receiving mental care and/or physical care, Limited outdoor mobility Loneliness and/or depression, 2 suicide attempts Average age: 80 + years NO computer skills Having family members with Skype Majority women Majority white collar
Methodology1. Before starting: observation, talk2. During installation: observation, talk3. Permanent feedback by carers4. Intervention if necessary*5. Involvement of a. 16-year-old volunteers: regular help b. social workers (4th month) case studies not knowing the previous physical, mental health6. Evaluation: researcher*E.g. sensitivity of the mouse was reduced, the icons were made larger (30% bigger 1024x768 instead of the default size)
Negative emotions before the installation of the computers1. Amazement (that they are getting a computer)2. Interest3. Disclaiming “I’m too old for that, that’s for the young”4. A great degree of fear, alarm
Positive emotions before the installation of the computers1. Impatience “When will I be getting it?”2. Excitement “What will it look like, how will I use it?”3. Joy at reduction of the knowledge gap between generations. “I’ll have one, just like my grandchild.”…. “It will be good if I can use it.”
Motivationa. See/talk with family, grandchild:b. Strong desire to learn despite illnessc. New goal (worth living)d. Daily occupation
Change of social network throughSkypePhase 1. intention to talk only to family Maintain or strengthen their relationshipPhase 2: want to find a friend, acquaintance Keep old relationships alivePhase 3: want to find other older people Widen social network
Motivation: grandchildren, family “I can see my grandchildren all the time and they can see me.”
Role of young volunteersBy permanent help insured Transfer of their up-to-date technical knowledge technical catching up end prejudice against older people continuous learning – „We taught Aunt K. to use the internet. She learnt to use the mouse, to visit portals, create an email account.”
Prejudice Society – “I’d like to see what these old people are going to do with these computers: probably put a lace doyley on them, and a vase on that and then look at them.” (younger man) Family – “The family didn’t believe that it would be worth giving a sick old person a computer.” (head of the care centre)
Positive change of inter-generalrelationship: young volunteers“ We have a lot of other plans (!!) for her, I would like to continue intensive voluntary work with Aunt K.”
Impact of Skype on daily life of older people Positive mental change by 4th month!! “Uncle A. has opened up like a rose.” (head of the care centre) “Uncle A. seemed to be a well-balanced, confident, communicative, optimistic person social work student not knowing that he received previous mental care No more suicide attempts End of loneliness New goal More colourful daily activity 3-5 hours internet use - positive addiction
Skype as catalyst to acquireinternet skills“ He (90 years old) listens to music every day, reads the news every day online.” He received earlier mental care from the home help!!
Important messages Successful teaching from the most basic level (switching the computer on and off) Learning Skype very quickly Pace of learning differed, but all reached a similar level by 4th month Internet: satisfaction of wide variety of desires and interests Desire for permanent learning Problem: not to use Skype but learn new functions of internet
Social inclusion New customs: e.g. shopping on the net, watching soap operas online New words (google, facebook, chat, surf, email, etc.) Old word with new content (virus, mouse, library, window) Need of helpers to learn, to catch up. Expanding personal network! Strong intergenerational relationship Strong intragenerational relationship
Possible uses for public policy? 3 of the 23 districts of the capital are already interested in the program and considering to introduce it. New action research under development- 50 new cases in the poor Hungarian region – Goal: to explore how to implement the finding in poorer rural areas among less educated older people
Afterword: opinion of an old person “You ask what information technology has given me. It has opened up the way to acquiring knowledge! The computer has brought great help and constant curiosity into my home. …I am doing research on my family roots on the internet, tracing all the complicated paths from 1311 right up to the present. So far I have been able to put together a few detailed biographies. I will have something to pass on to my grandchildren. I conduct a lively correspondence with my family members and friends. We exchange photos and videos.” (76-year- old woman) .”
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