This project has ended in 2011. The content of this website is no longer maintaned, and is displayed for archive purposes until the end of 2016.

SUFACARE Activities

The aim of the SUFACARE project 2009-2011 is to improve working conditions, living conditions and social inclusion of family caregivers and -receivers in Finland and Estonia.

The project consists of an evaluation of the caregiver-situation by survey, to find out the needs for support in following areas; their social participation, their resources and offered social services, their mental health, their physical capacity and physical environment.

The results from the questionnaire survey and the interviews, and the model for family caregiving, will be presented on the Final Seminars in Tallinn and Helsinki in november.

Final Seminar in Tallinn: 14.11.2011 at 1:pm, The Self-Help and Advisory Center for Senior Citizens (address Tallinn, J.Poska 15)

Seminar program

Final Seminar in Helsinki: 30.11.2011 starting at 9:am, Arcada (Jan-Magnus Janssons plats 1, Helsinki)

ARCADA (Finland)

In Finland postal questionnaires were sent during the spring 2010 and interviews have been conducted during the autumn 2010 and spring 2011. Educational courses are being organized during the spring 2011 and a seminar where the final report will be presented will be held in the autumn 2011. The project is also working with raising awareness of the situation of family caregivers by actively taking part in the public debate. So far four letters to the editor about the situation of family caregivers have been published, one in Hbl, one in HS and two in Turun Sanomat. Bettina Stenbock-Hult from the project team participated in a seminar about elderly and mental health organized by Ikäinstituutti  and her article about SUFACARE can be found in the publication of ikäinstituutti called Ikääntyminen ja mielen voimavarat.

The articles can be found here:

Turun Sanomat 6.4 2010: Omaishoidon ongelmat ja ratkaisut  

Turun Sanomat 24.6.2010: Mielenterveyskuntoutujasta huolehtivan omaisen oma mielenterveys on koetuksella  

Hufvudstadsbladet 25.6.2010: God närståendevård måste få kosta

Helsingin sanomat 28.6.2010: Omaishoito kannattaa yhteiskunnalle muita hoitomuotoja paremmin

Ikääntyminen ja mielen voimavarat. Seminaariesityksiä 29.-30.11.2010.  Oraita 2/2011.  

Postal questionnaire

During the spring 2010 a postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 3000 over 65-year old elderly in Helsinki, Turku and Salo and 153 family caregivers and 450 other elderly in the same age replied and sent back the questionnaire. Answers to the questionnaires were coded into SPSS database and analyzed. Links to the questionnaire and a summary of the major findings can be found below.




During the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 further analysis of the current situation of the caregivers and the need for support has been done by interviews with family caregivers, and the work is still in progress. There have been some problems with recruiting informants because of the legislation in Finland that does not allow the municipalities to give out the names of family caregivers in their register. So far about 90 interviews have been conducted. Apart from project members also some students from Arcada have been conducting the interviews. The interview questionnaire was made as a web-based survey and after each interview the data has been entered into the survey software (Analystica ). A summary of the results can be found below.



Assessment of the psychical environment

Two of the project members have also conducted assessments of the psychical environment, i.e. the home environment of some family caregivers. The aim of this assessment is to observe potential risks in the caregivers’ home environment and based on these risks give some suggestions for changes that could be made to make the home safer for the care giver and receiver.

Education program

One educational cruise for family caregivers was organized on the 8th of March and another one was organized on the 29th of March. On these educational cruises from Turku to Maarianhamina the caregivers attended lectures in the morning and had leisure time in the afternoon. The themes of the first cruise were health issues and the caregivers’ situation and on the other one sleeping disorders, wellbeing and social capital. A third cruise was also organized later on with the themes; support and services availiable for family caregivers and results in the SUFACARE project. The cruise was therefore at the samt time a small seminar about the results in the SUFACARE program. All in all about 120 caregivers participated in the cruises and the feedback has been mainly positive.




The questionnaire and interviews were elaborated to assess the needs of caretakers and caregivers.

During spring and autumn of 2010 a group of 10 social work master and bachelor students of Tallinn University conducted in total 448 interviews with family caregivers. Interview data have been entered into a single database using a web-based survey software ( Analysis of the data collected by interviews has been conducted.


Postal questionnaire

In August-September 2010 a postal survey of elderly persons (aged 65 or over) was conducted. Questionnaires (in two versions - Estonian and Russian) were sent by post to a random sample of 1500 elderly persons living in Tallinn or Lääne-Viru country. 580 replies were received back. Answers to the questionnaires were coded and entered into a SPSS database for further analysis. The survey component is largely completed while some further analysis needed.


Education program

The focus, specific target groups and themes of education courses have been selected on the basis of results of interviews and postal questionnaires which identified more specific needs of family caregivers.

Training sessions for 7 groups (each about 20 persons) have already been organized in Tallinn over the period December 2010 - February 2011, one in Russian and six in Estonian. In March 2011 training sessions for 3 groups were held in Lääne-Viru county. The training sessions have altogether attracted 270 participants, and were held in a service center for elderly.

Training sessions conducted have focused on topics about assistance (services and benefits) available from municipalities, practical care giving hints and empowerment of care receivers and givers. The feedback from participants has been very positive. Follow up training sessions with other topics based on the feedback will be organized in April and May 2011 for caregivers who have already participated in earlier sessions.