October 28, 2022 – The Dutch care neighbourhood of De Hogeweyk in Weesp, Netherlands, has become a beacon for how seniors can live their final years, regardless of physical or psychological challenges.
Here, seniors continue to live their lives just as they would in their own homes. They eat and prepare food together as a “family,” and shop, stroll, attend concerts and generally live life to the fullest. All this living takes place in a long-term care setting that feels more like a home than an institution.
But long-term care in the Netherlands wasn’t always so innovative. It wasn’t until the 1990s when Eloy van Hal and Jannette Spiering began trialing some novel approaches to the Dutch long-term care system that was previously medically oriented.
“We disrupted the existing model, and we started to work with residents in a different way,” said van Hal, calling it the “re-humanization” of care. “We saw an immediate improvement in people’s behaviours.”
Providence is innovating long-term care
Both van Hal and Spiering were in Vancouver on October 28 to lead a workshop for Providence Living and Providence Health Care long-term care staff who are adapting the De Hogeweyk approach in a model of care re-design project called Home for Us.
Home for Us will be implemented at Providence Living’s marquee care village in Comox BC, currently under construction, as well as at all future new builds and acquisitions.
Not only for people with dementia
All new Providence Living care villages will provide long-term care to anyone who meets the B.C. government’s access criteria. While excellent dementia care is a core service at Providence Living, at least 30 per cent of those residing Providence homes do not have dementia and require other types of care and support.
“We are using the learning related to dementia care pioneered at de Hogeweyk as a way for Providence Living to expand and grow our services,” said Mark Blandford, President and CEO, Providence Living. “We’re not directly copying the Dutch model of care but using this knowledge to enhance the care we already provide to residents. Our vision is to deliver innovative, person-centered seniors’ care in modern facilities using forward-thinking models of care that reflect global best practices.”