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International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference

Closing Session - Day 2

Session Program

4:00 pm
‘Old Holland to New Holland – renewing the Dutch connection’ (45 minutes)

Themes: Nursing home physicians/ medical leadership, small scale living in large buildings, value-based nursing training

Wilco Achterberg, elderly care physician and professor of elderly care Medicine, Topaz Leiden and Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden the Netherlands
Susan Kurrle, Professor of geriatrics, Sydney
Lia de Jongh, CEO of Topaz nursing home organisation, Leiden
Martine Hereur, director of Dementia Expertise Center Topaz, Leiden

Session Moderator: Susan Kurrle

Just as in Australia, the Netherlands have several challenges in the care of the frailest old people. The Netherlands has been very fortunate to have had a very good insurance system for long term care, which provided good funding for nursing home care. In a typical Dutch Nursing home you can find, next to nurses, therapists like physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and nursing home physicians. In 1989, a 2 year post graduate medical training program started, and ‘nursing home physician’ became an officially recognised medical specialism.  Now, the program is 3 years, with attention also to care in the community. In this presentation, the training program is discussed, and the effects it has on the care in nursing homes. For instance, there is a very low transition rate of nursing home patients to the emergency room and a very low hospitalisation rate. The training modules will be presented in a separate session, but we will discuss the medical leadership in nursing homes- What may be feasible in Australia?

Presenters: Wilco Achterberg, Lia de Jongh

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, Wilco Achterberg

Together with some other facilities, Topaz decided to develop a different trainings program, based on the idea that nursing home care, especially for people with dementia, is about adding value and quality of life. What may be feasible in Australia?

:  Martine Heruer, Lia de Jongh
5:05 pm
It is a strange thing when talking about love in the context of dementia care is considered to be a strange thing to do. Indeed some may say that it is an outrage that in a time where person centred care is so much to the forefront, no one wants to talk about love despite the fact that it is something that most if not all of us place at the centre of our lives.

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?

Other Suggested Sessions

1:10 pm
Plenary Room
Session 2 - Day 2

3:30 pm
Plenary Room
Session 3 - Day 1

11:00 am
Plenary Room
Opening Session - Day 1

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