work & care: Innovative Unterstützung für Unternehmen und pflegende Erwerbstätige bei der Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Pflege

15.11.2019 bis 31.10.2022

Many companies are facing extraordinary challenges. The number of people in need of care will increase in the coming years due to an ageing society. By 2050, the number of people in need of care in Germany is expected to rise to 4.5 million. 76% of all people in need of care are currently cared for at home, primarily by working children or (spousal) partners. It is therefore often difficult for family members to reconcile work and care. Typical stresses of working carers such as lack of time, lack of relaxation phases, social restrictions and professional demands lead to health restrictions. Among other things, this results in increased sick leave and leads to a reduction in working hours or retirement from working life. In order to support companies and caring employees, the work & care project is concerned with improving the compatibility of work and care in OWL.


work & care supports in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe (OWL) region. The systematic combination of social and technical innovations helps SMEs to better cope with the increase in the number of employees providing care due to the demographic challenges. Multiple stresses due to work and care are reduced, absenteeism is lowered and drop-out avoided, and the companies retain their ability to work and the knowledge of their skilled workers. In a holistic approach, work & care combines the working world and the living world as a network in which (1) company and (2) inter-company as well as (3) neighbourly, voluntary and (4) technical-digital solutions effectively support both the SMEs and the caring employees.


In the research project, an open portal is being developed that links care, household and other service providers with SMEs and their carers. Furthermore, a mobile village helper application supports voluntary work and helps to relieve the burden on carers. This improves the compatibility of work and care and strengthens the skilled labour and competitiveness of SMEs in the rural region of OWL.


 •    Zentrum für Innovation in der Gesundheitswirtschaft OWL (ZIG), Bielefeld
•    Kreis Lippe – Zukunftsbüro, Dörentrup
•    Institut für Bildungs- und Versorgungsforschung im Gesundheitsbereich (InBVG), Bielefeld
•    Institut Arbeit und Technik (IAT), Gelsenkirchen
•    Plan G, Versmold

This project is promoted by:
Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MWIDE NRW)
Funding Code: 34.EFRE-0300198
Funding Lines: EFRE.NRW
Stakeholders / Contacts: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Helene Dörksen
Employees: Frauke Wiegräbe, M. A., Paul Wunderlich, M. Sc.
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