From November 13 to 17, 2023, twenty-four delegates from the RQRA
, the Quebec Gathering of Senior Residences, embarked on a journey organised by Dialog Health
to the Netherlands to explore innovative care structures for the elderly.
From the first day, these delegates headed to Utrecht to meet with the Director of vilans.nl
, a national institution specialising in care and support. This step served as an introduction to the training, outlining the specifics of the Dutch healthcare system
. Subsequently, the delegation had the opportunity to meet Jeroen Kleinjan, CEO of Dagelijks Leven
. This organisation manages 87 small houses, accommodating a maximum of 22 residents, specially designed or renovated for people with dementia.
At the end of the day, the delegation traveled to Zwolle to discover a facility belonging to Zorgspectrum Het Zand
, an organization offering privileged access to nature and animals
at all its sites. Most of its residents come from the agricultural environment and grew up surrounded by gardens and animals.
On Wednesday, the delegates particularly enjoyed the visit to the Alzheimer's Village of Hogeweyk
. This place, a "city within the city," houses 23 tailor-made houses for 152 people with Alzheimer's and advanced dementia
. These houses are adapted based on the history and lifestyle of each resident, offering six different lifestyles. Residents live there independently with the support of a constant professional team. The day was punctuated by discussions on architecture, care policies, and shared governance, revealing the success of this globally recognised institution in achieving its primary goal: making the lives of people with severe dementia as normal as possible.
The afternoon was dedicated to the Therapeutic Farm Weet hoe je leeft!
, offering daily activities, learning and work workshops, as well as advice on independent living. The foundation promotes inclusion
, ensuring that no one is left behind.
On Thursday morning, the Quebec delegation went to Zaandam, on the outskirts of Amsterdam, to meet Rutger De Graaf, Director of Innovation at Pennemes
. The morning was devoted to visiting this care facility focused on green innovations
aimed at preserving the autonomy and health of residents.
Eventually, the series of visits concluded with a meeting with three collaborators from Buurtzorg
, an agency founded by Jos de Blok in 2007 based on the principles of liberated enterprise. Buurtzorg operates with independent teams of nurses working autonomously
, supported by an efficient computerised system.
This international study mission represented a both enriching and instructive experience, immersing Quebec delegates in the heart of avant-garde practices in the field of elderly healthcare. This immersion offers an exceptional opportunity to discover innovative and inspiring models that revolutionise our approach to caring for our seniors.