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VitaDem

Vitality and participation for community living persons with dementia and their informal carers
Publication date: 01 September 2014

Current dementia care is primarily reactive, taking over the care of people with dementia and their informal carers. In this project, the project group is investigating how people with dementia and their relatives can remain vital and self-sufficient. They also explore how relatives, neighbours and friends can help, and how the environment in which people with dementia and their relatives live, can be made more dementia-friendly.

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Introduction

This project is part of the ZonMw research and innovation programme Memorabel, part of the Dutch Dementia Deltaplan.

The aim is to develop a new approach for persons with dementia and their informal carers that empowers people with dementia to live at home for as long as possible. Interventions are tailored to the wishes, needs and possibilities of the person with dementia and their informal carer, and aim at strengthening their vitality and self-sufficiency, and expanding their social network. In addition, a safe and supportive home and neighbourhood environment is arranged in order to let these people live at home longer. 

Project description

In this practice-based research project, thirty couples of people with dementia and their informal carers in Capelle and Krimpen aan den Ijssel are being followed. These couples are coached by a multidisciplinary team that offers an intervention package tailored to their needs. After a needs assessment, this team, together with the couple, chooses a number of interventions, for example a training to remain vital, an intervention to promote self-sufficiency, expansion of the social network, or a solution to make the home and neighbourhood environment more dementia-friendly.

Interviews and questionnaires are held with the participants in advance, after six and after twelve months, in order to ascertain as to whether the interventions are feasible and work well. The professionals involved (case managers, welfare workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists) complete lists of questions about the feasibility of the interventions. Finally, a business case is made to evaluate the costs.

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