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Tatics-Lifelong Learning Project, March 2013, Dublin Ireland

As part of the TACTICS lifelong learning Project, Exchange House developed a Course for Carers. In January 2013 this course was piloted with a group of 15 carers over two days.

The course aimed to provide a network for Carers for peer support. These Carers who look after their relatives need support to handle the daily challenges they face, such as space for their own recreation and free time to manage their own necessary duties. The course was run by Youth Worker Emma Parsons & Social Worker Sarah Murray. We were also very grateful to have HSE Social Worker for Older People Maura Seabrooke on hand to help facilitate both days.

Day one focused on the challenges of being a carer and what supports are available. This brought about great group discussions and information sharing. Day two of the course concentrated on “Care for the Carers”. This proved to be very beneficial for the group. A game playing session was held, where participants tested the different games being developed by the TACTICS project. By offering games with low language requirements, TACTICS helps elderly people to establish new contacts. For the family this means an additional stimulus for intergenerational communication. In care facilities, communication is enhanced between the different cultures, the residents and the visiting volunteers and the danger of social isolation is reduced.

The culture of game playing in Europe functions as a low threshold access to Life-Long-Learning. Skills, both existing and those acquired informally, are further developed by game playing.

There was positive feedback from all participants and everyone who attended received a Carers pack with information and resources on support available. As per feedback there were some changes made to the training and in the future Exchange House hopes to run this course again with voluntary carers.

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