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Table 1 Definitions of care types

From: Ageing in place and the internet of things – how smart home technologies, the built environment and caregiving intersect

Care Type Where is this type of care provided? Who provides this care? Definition/Explanatory notes
Community Care In a community setting e.g. at home or community day care By either family or friends (informal), or by paid care workers (formal or waged) Community care is loosely defined as care based in a community setting (Khoosal & Jones, 1989) and can be provided in a variety of formats, including formal, informal and (the lesser-researched) self-care. Community Care is the provision of care and support for people who want to stay independent and living at home for as long as possible.
Formal (waged) Care Can be provided either in a registered nursing home or residential care institution OR In a community setting e.g. at home or community day care. Paid care workers Formal care includes waged care services such as those delivered by Community Care Services:
‘Formal care is regulated care delivered in either residential or community settings, including the person’s own home. Most formal care is funded through government programs but may also be purchased privately.’ (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007, p. 493).
Informal (unpaid) care In a community setting e.g. at home or community day care Unpaid family or friends/informal network Informal care refers to the unpaid services provided by family, friends and neighbours:
‘An informal carer is considered to be a person, such as a family member, friend or neighbour, who provides regular and sustained care and assistance to the person requiring support, usually on an unpaid basis.’ (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007, p. 493).
Self-Care Not limited by location Oneself Self-care has no universally agreed definition. However, in the context of community care it often refers to the ability to provide care for oneself. The longest standing definition is as follows:
‘Self-care in health refers to the activities individuals, families and communities undertake with the intention of enhancing health, preventing disease, limiting illness, and restoring health. These activities are derived from knowledge and skills from the pool of both professional and lay experience. They are undertaken by lay people on their own behalf, either separately or in participative collaboration with professionals.’ (World Health Organisation, 1984, p. 2)
There are four types of support for self-care: (1) assistive technology; (2) environmental changes (which include home modifications); (3) behavioural adjustments (e.g. avoid stairs) to overcome impairments (De Friese, et al., 1994). Education and training also plays an important role in helping a career better understand the full potential of these supports. Assistive Technology can be broadly defined as ‘devices and techniques that can eliminate, ameliorate, or compensate for functional limitations’ (Pope and Tarlov, 1991, p. 225)