The number of people in the Netherlands suffering from dementia is expected to rise explosively. Around 270,000 people have already been diagnosed with dementia, and this number will probably increase to reach half a million by 2040. In addition to the medical treatment, there is growing concern for the fact that dementia is also a societal issue. As people with dementia and associated complex care needs continue to live in their own homes for longer and longer periods, the pressure on their social networks and on society at large is growing. This led Movisie to look at the societal dimension of dementia.
Dementiezorg voor Elkaar
The programme ‘Dementiezorg voor Elkaar’ is part of the Deltaplan for Dementia*, a national cooperative to deal with the uncontrollable increase in care issues caused by dementia. In the ‘Dementiezorg voor Elkaar’ programme, Movisie collaborates with partners Nivel, Pharos, Trimbos and Vilans to improve the care and support for people with dementia. Because people with dementia stay at home longer, the programme focuses on structural improvement of their social networks and creating space for dementia care. Practical obstacles are addressed immediately in short-term or longer consultation processes, meetings and learning communities. In addition a knowledge network has been estab-lished to distribute (local) good practices to a nationwide audience.
Breaking through the vicious circle
Movisie collaborates with an international consortium in the three year Co-Train project, funded by the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) programme. AAL is a European cooperation programme aiming to stimulate ICT solutions that contribute to issues such as ageing, loneliness among the elderly, the growing cost of care and staff shortages.
The Co-Train project aims to design an application that will help older people with dementia to be more active. Research shows that this group’s vulnerability causes a faster decline of their physical constitution. On the one hand dementia limits their options of being physically active, on the other hand inactivity results in faster decline of the brain. In order to break through this vicious circle, Movisie assists in developing a coaching system that relates to the specific desires and needs of people with dementia. In a matching online coaching portal people can meet virtually and join in shared sporting activities; they can be family carers and people with dementia themselves. Through this portal, coaches also design specific tailor-made training programmes for individuals that match their capacities. The Co-Train app teaches people with dementia to build their health and their social networks.
Just like the Co-Train project, the three year DayGuide project is part of the AAL programme. DayGuide is an intelligent service system that helps people with dementia to structure their daily activities in and around the home. The system sends automatic reminders and guides people with dementia through the day whenever they enter specific locations in the home. This helps people with (mild) dementia to live independently in their own homes. In addition DayGuide offers clever support options, such as calling in the aid of external people and allowing them access to the home by means of their smartphones.
Together with Vilans, knowledge centre for long-term care, Movisie created the BeterOud platform. It is the ambition of BeterOud to improve the quality of life of elderly people by allowing them to continue living their individual lives in spite of the limitations of growing older. BeterOud shares ideas, initiatives and projects with several partners to learn from each other.
One of the pillars of the Deltaplan for Dementia is creating a dementia-friendly society. In this pillar partners work together to increase awareness and knowledge of how to deal with people with dementia. Movisie has advised a number of municipalities on ways to achieve this together with local parties. Movisie itself also aspires to being a dementia-friendly organization and has been awarded the ‘dementia-friendly organisation’ certificate.
Movisie also regularly publishes articles regarding the social networks of people with dementia and how informal carers could deal with them. We have also presented several local initiatives on our website in order to facilitate sharing good examples with others. Those articles are accessible through our Dutch-language website.
*The Deltaplan for Dementia has three pillars: research, improvement of care, and a dementia-friendly society. These pillars are elaborated in three programmes that focus on respectively Prevention and cure of dementia, Improving health care for people with dementia, and Creating a dementia-friendly society.