Network for protection of health for non-professional care relatives "Neuheit für Pflege

Project No. FF-FP 0286


completed 11/2011


The number of people who need care in Germany is increasing. Non-professional care provided by relatives is getting more relevant in recent years. At the same time caring relatives are exposed to psychological and physical stress and as a result neglect their own health.
Aim of this project:
1) Networking, using and enhancing the structures which are developed for persons who are in need of care and their non-professional caring relatives
2) Implementation the idea of prevention for caring relatives into these structures. This mainly involves:
- enlightenment of caring relatives about risks of nursing by non-professional caring
- increasing the demands of existing support programs for non-professional carers
- improvement of the structures of communication between non-professional and professional carers
- strengthening the lobby of non-professional carers by creating transparency and open-mindedness for their problems
- public relations for a better reaching of non-professional carers

The first stage of this project is to develop a network in two towns in Nordrhein-Westfalen (Dortmund and Solingen). It is assumed that it can be transferred into other federal states and the whole Federal Republic of Germany.


Steps to be taken:
1. Description of situation/analysis: Appraisal of existing offers and structures, description of needs and gaps in supplies
2. Coordination and advancement of regional agendas: Networking of work groups, exchange, learning opportunities etc.
3. Implementing the idea of prevention, practical realisation based on cognitions and concepts of nursing science and public health
4. Developing a checklist of quality criteria which provides a self-evaluation
5. Publication of the results

There will be regularly meetings/workgroups of the supporters and the cooperation partners in the model towns. Furthermore relatives-focus groups will be arranged in the model towns. Evaluation of the project will be conducted by the university of Witten/Herdecke.

Annual objectives:

Year 1: Creation of the basic conditions for the network
Year 2: Appraisal and implementation of regional meetings of the cooperating partners
Year 3: Implementation of health protection for non-professional caring relatives, public relations
Year 4: Stabilisation of structures, assurance of sustainability, presentation of results


Caregiving relatives assume responsibilities of social significance. But their own well-being is not in the focus of politics and insurers -many of the relatives are under tremendous stress and fall ill themselves. This project (2009-2011) aimed to design strategies of preventive health protection for caregiving relatives. The joint project by Unfallkasse NRW (accident insurers) and the School of Nursing Science at Witten/Herdecke University was sponsored by DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance). Model regions were the cities of Dortmund and Solingen. Teams from local nursing providers assessed the situation of nursing family members as a priority, using activity research and implementation approaches. Networking for the duration of the project, the providers pooled suggestions for prophylactic health care of and new support services for caregiving relatives. Municipalities are called upon to coordinate and control the increasingly complex market in this area. Project results showed up a variety of sustainable strategies to reach caregiving relatives and are scheduled to be transferred to other regions as well.

Last Update:

30 Aug 2012


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Unfallkasse Nordrhein-Westfalen

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

Arbeitsbedingte Erkrankungen, Qualifizierung/Aus- und Weiterbildung


Belastung, Beratung, Gesundheitsförderung

Description, key words:

Network, health-protection, care relatives