Hope new app will boost youth work prospects, social cohesion, health and wellbeing
A new app designed to boost the welfare of younger workers and young people will boost employment prospects, improve social cohesion and health and wellbeing, say health and social care experts.
The app, called MyCarer, allows users to identify potential carers and connect with others across the age spectrum who have potential to offer a service to them, even when they are in training or on leave.
In a study carried out with Ipsos MORI in England, more than a third of older workers aged 15 to 44 - aged from 55 to 75 - and 27% of 45-74 year olds said they'd be willing to provide care if offered to them, while just over a fifth of 20-64 year olds said they'd be willing to work if offered.
And the most likely to be offered care, if trained: younger people than the older group, with one in three saying they would like to be offered help.
Overall, four in ten said they wanted others to be able to connect them to people who are likely to want their help, up from 36% in 2015, while 19% thought the app could save them as much as £90 per week.
This is partly because employers are now more likely to see it as important to help the older person, said Dr Stephen Williams, of the Centre for Health Improvement, University of Oxford.
"It's now also important to consider the age of the person, who would be more likely to use the service."
MyCarer gives people "a virtual place" to offer help and support when they want to. It can allow users to share stories of people they think they might want to care for, or offer advice on when and how to contact them, even before the patient has arrived at the hospital and provided details of their needs.
It's important that this is being done in context. For example, a hospital can give a service in the first week of a patient's life. Then they have to make sure to go back the following week and, ultimately, they can offer this to the older person and if necessary, the others who may have been provided care.
Ipsos MORI asked 2,000 adults to rate their understanding of the importance of the work-based caregiver, and of the impact on the younger person's welfare.
Overall, 54% said that the younger person would be happier if they had a person they could reach out to in their local area when they were feeling sad and lonely, and almost three-quarters would find it easier to connect the carer with people who would be able to offer their help.
At the same time, one in five said they'd b