In the Citizenlab Mantelzorg, the researchers, the Twente informal carers and the employers of the Twente informal carers are conducting research together. Together they investigate the health and welfare of Twente informal carers and their informal care situation and their work situation. In this way they want to visualize this better and also devise tools for the carers. These aids are intended to help informal carers to provide informal care and to combine it with their work. In this way, informal care becomes less onerous and informal carers can continue to work and care better and without problems. This prevents them from (temporarily) dropping out of their work and informal care.
Research in which the scientists conduct research together with the citizens, in our case the informal caregivers, is called Citizen Science or in Dutch citizen science. In addition to the informal caregiver, the Citizenlab Informal care can of course also involve other parties in the research, such as the employers of the informal caregivers.
In the Citizen Science research, the scientists and the informal carers both carry out research activities. Research activities include, for example, coming up with a research question, developing a research method and collecting and processing information or data to answer the research question. The informal caregiver is therefore not only a participant in the study by, for example, completing a questionnaire, but also thinks along about the design of the study and then carries it out. The Citizen Science research should ultimately lead to valuable knowledge (or solutions) for science, for the informal caregiver and for society.