Care4Care is a game-changing innovation to tackle the national crisis in care faced by our ageing population. Care4Care introduces the concept of a delayed reward using the currency of HOURS. We provide support for older people through reciprocal exchange – care provided by me now in return for care for me later.
This means that offering care and support for frailer people, by individuals who are able to help, in turn gives these individuals an earned entitlement for care and support when they need it later in life. In effect, people have “earned” their own Care Pension.
Care4Care is a genuinely radical innovation because it brings additional resources into the system now. It brings reciprocity into older people’s support and because the model is locally based, it increases community resilience by building meaningful trust relationships amongst neighbours. We believe that the most important technology for older people is a pair of “helping hands” and that through this new approach combining altruism and intelligent self interest we can improve the quality of life of frail elderly people across the UK.
Care4Care is a partnership between The Young Foundation and creator of the Care4Care concept Professor Heinz Wolff, Emeritus Professor Bio-engineering at Brunel University. Care4Care is currently piloting on the Isle of Wight in partnership with Age UK Isle of Wight. The pilot started at the end of February 2012 and as of October 2012 there were over 200 members and more than 5000 hours banked. Care4Care is looking to expand to other areas in the near future.