About our project
COVID-19 aggravated social exclusion of ill, older and disabled persons through measures to restrict movement and contacts, such as stay-at-home restrictions, quarantines, and lockdowns. While such measures were crucial for ensuring the safety of all, they just worsened and mainstreamed a condition of isolation that many groups of population suffered even before the pandemic.
Indeed, across Europe, millions of younger and older persons with mobility impairment due to illness, age or disability or with immunodeficiency are restrained every day, often together with their informal carers, in their opportunities of social interaction and engagement in meaningful activities outside their homes. Engaging clients in meaningful activities is one of the principles of Person-Centered Care and it has been found fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the individual accessing care and support. It can help to improve physical fitness, improve mood and help to combat depression and anxiety, combat loneliness, improve the quality of sleep and even reduce falls. (Skills for care) However, it can be challenging for housebound clients to access them if not supported in doing so.
As clearly showed during the peak of the pandemic, online technologies could be exploited to provide social support and a sense of belonging.
However, not only many persons in Europe still have limited access to digital technologies and lack necessary skills to fully exploit them, but this is true also for many social care professionals and andragogists, who might not have the necessary competences to conceive and implement social support actions based on ICT. In fact, a barrier to e-social work is not only the lack of basic ICT skills, but rather of more advanced competences, such as the ability to access, adapt and create new social and educational intervention methods using ICTs and to deliver technology-mediated social work and community work practices.