Introduction: Translational education takes up the notion of integrating basic research and practice out of a cross-disciplinary perspective given that disciplinary knowledge will no longer be sufficient to account for the complexity of the encountered problem fields. Persons trained in translational education will thus be able to integrate several disciplinary knowledge domains and translate new developments in basic research to their application.
Description of care or policy practice: The concept of translational education has become prominent in medical training and it clearly has implications for the training of care givers given the complexity of the diverse problems associated with care. Care and care giving always imply theory and research from different scientific disciplines; there are medical, legal, sociological, and psychological components of care giving, and care giving also increasingly relies on new developments in the domains of technology. In order to keep an integrative view of all these developments and to finally obtain an integrative approach in care, translational education represents an imperative task for training carers in the domains of ageing and disabilities.
Conclusion and discussion: Caring for a person—be it formal or informal—always has to rely on a sound basis of knowledge in order to prevent failures as well as feelings of stress and strain. Given that the knowledge base for carers becomes increasingly complex as it is fed by several disciplines as well as societal developments, training and education programmes should realise both a translational approach as well as a lifelong learning perspective. Although much is in favour of such an approach, limits of translational education do exist as well and these comprise mainly the production of a common knowledge across multiple domains for the cost of neglecting in-depth understanding of specific knowledge domains.