It is a major theme in every scientific institution: how do you ensure that society benefits from the knowledge obtained? And vice versa, how do scientists know which issues in society require scientific research? These questions have formed the basis of the knowledge agenda for the elderly. The agenda contains eight major themes that will be tackled in the coming years by the Amsterdam Coalition on Aging* and Amsterdam UMC. Topics include acute care for the elderly, care in the last phase of life, and care for people with dementia. The document was drafted in collaboration with, among others, elderly, care providers, policy makers, and scientists.
Vital and Healthy
Elderly care has been an important research topic at Amsterdam UMC for years. Professor of Acute Care for the Elderly Bianca Buurman: ‘We conduct research into prevention of crisis situations and into home care for vulnerable elderly people, but we feel that our insights do not sufficiently reach the elderly themselves yet. That is a shame.’
As part of the Amsterdam Vital Healthy program, scientists from Amsterdam UMC drew up the knowledge agenda. Issues that are addressed are: ‘how to continue living at home when the need of care increases’ and ‘acute care close to home’. In the latter area, the Wijkkliniek was successfully set up in collaboration with healthcare organization Cordaan in order to help elderly people who need emergency care without having to spend (too) long in hospital (www.wijkkliniek.nl). The theme of living will also be highlighted; elderly people are living at home longer and longer, but how do we ensure that this can be done safely, sustainably and also pleasantly?
The knowledge agenda is explicitly intended to jointly raise Amsterdam’s elderly care to a higher level. Not a paper exercise, but concrete actions. We are not going to put this document in a drawer. It is a further foundation for working together to improve care for the elderly in the city. ‘We will organize round-table discussions, come up with concrete plans and do new research if we do not have the solution to an issue at hand,’ says Buurman.
The knowledge agenda can be found on the Amsterdam Vital Healthy program -website.
* The Amsterdam Elderly Coalition is part of the city-wide program Amsterdam Vital and Healthy, in which the City of Amsterdam, health insurer Zilveren Kruis, care and welfare providers united in SIGRA, housing associations, and Cliëntbelang Amsterdam work together to anticipate the demand for care in the future. Amsterdam UMC has offered itself as a knowledge partner.