The National Care for the Elderly Programme is designed to improve care for elderly people with complex care needs. Many organisations are joining forces at a national and regional level to make this possible. The aim: a coherent care provision that is better suited to the individual needs of elderly people. For many elderly people this improvement in quality results in a greater degree of independence. Greater retention of function. Less reliance on care services. And a reduced risk of care and treatments that are unnecessarily burdensome. The programme started in April 2008 and will run for four years.
Elderly people often suffer from several ailments at once, for example forgetfulness, heart problems, mobility disorders and reduced appetite. At the same time their vulnerability increases. Small incidents can have a serious impact on their ability to cope. These elderly people in particular, often fail to get the care they need. There is still too little cooperation between organisations. For some aspects of care insufficient knowledge is available. And the knowledge we do have is often not disseminated and used to maximum effect.
Solutions from the programme
The National Care for the Elderly Programme seeks to improve the quality of care for the elderly by developing coherent care that is better suited to the individual needs of elderly people. But how?
- By working together
The strength of the programme lies in the regional cooperation. The programme funds the setting up of regional networks. Everyone involved in the care of the elderly can participate in these. For example, general practitioners, care and nursing homes, hospitals, home care services, health insurers, pharmacies and municipalities, but also the elderly themselves. The networks can apply for a grant to fund projects aimed at improving the quality of care.
- Through projects and experiments
A large part of the programme budget shall be used to fund projects and experiments aimed at organising the care differently. The regional networks can submit proposals for this. When doing this they may think beyond the boundaries of existing legislation and types of funding. They may submit proposals for research into possibilities for prevention, and for improved diagnosis or treatment. The knowledge acquired shall ultimately be disseminated and implemented on a national scale. Money is also available for that phase.
- By involving the elderly
The elderly have a major say within the programme. Their problems and wishes take centre stage. They are involved in the discussions about new subjects and projects at both a regional and a national level.