Irma Everink of Maastricht University is the recipient of the Early-stage researcher Award for her study abstract: “Effects of an integrated care pathway within geriatric rehabilitation: preliminary results”. This abstract was chosen by the international  jury because it exemplifies a well-designed translational study in which research is vented by a multidisciplinary work group and evaluated for both direct patient outcomes and the economic impact of this intervention. Improving transitions of care is a significant issue, especially for older adults. The design of the study incorporates intra-professional collaboration that facilitates a pathway across several care settings. The prospective cohort design is the ideal method to evaluate outcomes for this complex intervention. We look forward to hearing the results of the final evaluation.

Jan Jukema winner of the Best Innovation Award

For his abstract ‘’Older people as co-creators of education and research programs in nursing and gerontology’’ Jan S. Jukema PhD of Windesheim University of Applied Sciences recieved the Best Innovation Award. His abstract distinguishes on the criteria ‘overall quality of the abstract’, ‘effect of the innovation for caring for older people’, ‘potential for broad implementation’ and ‘public and patient involvement’. The winning abstract is an example of a social innovation process whereby the target population, e.g. older people, are included as co-creators in the development of education and research programs. The inclusion and use of older people’s expertise and network will strongly benefit the quality and timeliness of the education program. Moreover, it will focus the research program on issues important from the user perspective.


Best Poster Presentation by Leen Van Landschoot

Leen Van Landschoot, University College Ghent, is awarded the Best Poster Presentation Award for his poster The role of the nurse in integrating healthcare and social care to support ‘ageing in place’. The quality of the visual presentation was high. A difficult concept of the role of the nurse in integrating healthcare and social care was made visible in one view. This project was both an innovation and a research study with as well as patient involvement as public involvement well established.

Elderly care is booming business! by Caroline Smeets

As a district nurse, this was a special week for me. Queen Maxima’s attendance of the ‘European Nursing Congress’ in Rotterdam showed that our work is important and appreciated. Myself and my colleagues are faced with a growing group of elderly people who not only need more care but also increasingly more complex care. It is a good thing to come together and talk about the new demands imposed on our work. The theme of the congress was ‘Caring for older people: How can we do the right things right?’.

Marieke Schuurmans, one of the keynote speakers, said: “Healthcare has in fact become elderly care. If you don’t want to work with elderly people, don’t become a nurse.” Despite its dull image elderly care is absolutely not boring, but booming business and dynamic. Jan Hamers said: “Elderly care is alive and kicking!” The biggest challenge is to let elderly people live at their own homes as healthy and as long as possible. That makes a great demand on our expertise and inventiveness. Martin van Rijn, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, said: “The district nurses are the forerunners of the new health care system. They operate where medical meets social. “

Together with Margriet Snellen en Rinske de Waard of ActiZ, the Dutch association for residential and home care organizations, I gave a workshop on highly educated elderly care nurses. It was tough to do it in English, but fortunately it was a lively and really interactive meeting and we all realized that  populations are ageing everywhere in Europe. So we share the need for highly educated nurses in order to meet the increasing complexity of the demand for elderly care.

During the congress there was a growing awareness that real care is about the quality of life of your clients. When I recently visited a client of mine, she told me that she was becoming more and more forgetful and probably suffered from Alzheimer’s.  But she also told me that she was not going to let Alzheimer’s prevent her from enjoying her life or ruling it. I understand that as a district nurse I will have to support her and all my other clients in what they are still capable of and in what they really want.

Marieke Schuurmans’s inspiring words were: “Our job is not about adding years to their lives but adding  life to their years!”

Geriatric Care Experience

When it comes to geriatric care, there is often more to a situation. Check out the Geriatric Care Experience. You have 3 minutes to find out what is really going on. Listen carefully to the story, observe and click around the room and prick up your ears.

Queen Maxima attends European Nursing Congress

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at the opening ceremony of the 5th European Nursing Congress met a few of the 700 nurses from around the globe who during four days address the challenges that care for older persons poses to aging societies.

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Feel free to download and use the pictures taken by Guus Pauka.


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