SIDECAR - Skills In DEmentia CARe. Exchanging psychosocial knowledge and best practice in dementia care
SIDECAR is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership aimed at developing a new transnational curriculum of HE programs relevant to the labor marker of dementia care assistance. The aim will be fulfilled by disseminating the knowledge that has been acquired in decades of scientific research carried out in Europe, but that is not present in any academic curricula circulating nowadays or that characterizes the job expertise owned by actual health professionals.
SIDECAR will tackle the skills gaps and mismatches featuring nowadays European HE programs in formal dementia caregiving by offering a series of e-learning modules available for post-graduate students all across Europe. As the Dementia in Europe Yearbook promptly states Europe is characterized by a wide heterogeneity in the ways each country educates its professional caregivers: some countries have formal and structured programs, others have not. SIDECAR fills the educational gap where skills shortages exist and where guidance capable to improve and refine dementia cares is missing. Indeed, only by developing a relevant and high-quality curriculum of skills and competences strongly supported by a thorough analysis of the job market needs, EU would prepare its HE systems to respond to one of the most challenging social problems addressed within the DGH&FS 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, the ageing of EU population.
SIDECAR curriculum will be programmed, developed and qualitatively checked by a group of EU Academic researchers whose individual expertise falls within the dementia domains. Specifically, the partners are part and parcel of a very strong scientific network, which has produced and is producing some very important documents about Dementia issues.
By capitalizing on the network, SIDECAR will ensure a direct transfer of the most solid and innovative scientific evidence into dementia HE. Moreover, by the mean of its trans-disciplinary view of the dementia issues, SIDECAR will offer to HE learners the most fruitful responses to the dementia learning gaps.
The project is composed of three phases.
Due to the patchy situation of EU dementia educational system and the extremely high number of dementia care interventions available on the EU market (just few of which are really evidence-based), the first phase of SIDECAR will involve a thorough analysis of the dementia HE and professional situation in each EU county (M2-M8).
This pillar analysis serves to create a list of core topics including the most proficient psychosocial interventions already thought in EU HE programs, composing the actual practices and emerging from the research (Output 1). Once listed, the topics will be systematized and sorted in domains (topics concerning persons with dementia, topics concerning informal caregivers, topics about formal caregivers), each of which will compose a knowledge module. The modules will be addressed to the partners according to their skill, expertise and availability.
O1 will then drive the project into its second phase (M9-M30), the core phase of the SIDECAR project. During the phase, the partners will develop learning materials according to two distinctive levels: the practical level and the theoretical level.
On the practical side on-line modules and cognate learning materials will be developed and implemented for the knowledge transmission (Output 2). The theoretical level regard guidelines, manuals, and recommendations for stakeholders (Output 3). The level will be fundamental for the scalability of the SIDECAR project, as without it, SIDECAR would risk a very short half-life.
Each module will be domain-centered.
In this second phase quality check will be guaranteed by testing the congruency and the adherence of materials to the needs of the target participants.
Due to the multinational nature of the testing environments, the testing could be considered a vitro trial where all the project parts will be evaluated by independent European researchers and/or experts working on the field of care, by associations of patients and caregivers, academic students’ representatives or representative bodies of professional workers.
Such form of dissemination would result in the development of a stable ecosystem where interactions between academy and public stakeholders will grow further and mutually reinforce via the integration of transnational and inter-disciplinary research, education and innovative practical approaches.