Wilco Achterberg, elderly care physician and professor of elderly care Medicine, Topaz Leiden and Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden the Netherlands
Session Moderator: Susan Kurrle
The standard now for personalised homelike care for people with dementia in residential care is small (8-12) group housing. However, most facilities still have old larger buildings, and it is not financially feasible for all of them to build new facilities within a few years. However, it is possible to redesign old style large scale buildings so that in fact small scale group care can be delivered. We will show a case from a Topaz nursing home in Leiden. Next to the design of the environment, we were not satisfied with the old-style education that our nurses received and that was too much based on providing ADL care. Based on video footage, we will talk you through our ideas.
Presenters: Martine Heruer, Lia de Jongh
Of course, mention of love in a professional context can also stimulate outrage in terms of the obvious risks and tensions that come with the language of love. As the paradigms of business continue to be applied to the Aged Care enterprise - now being described as a “market” an “industry,” a “sector,” with elderly people viewed as consumers whose choice should sit at the centre of the system, there will inevitably be a difficult tension between the need for safety, professionalism, clinical compliance and financial governance and the apparently, “soft,” “dangerous” and “risky” language of love.
There is a strange irony here in the sense that some argue that the consumer should be at the heart of the system, whilst at the same time avoiding the language of the heart. The idea that love and the enablement of love might be a key indicator for success within an organisation is not something that is easily assimilated into standard business models. And yet, while those of us within the age care sector teach about “professional boundaries” (important as such boundaries can be), the spaces where we encounter truly personalised, life changing care sometimes sit uneasily on the edge of these boundaries as they are lived out by those who offer care that is marked by the core practices of love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Care without love may be “safe” and “efficient” but is it enough?