Surprising and exciting outcome: Need to reactivate ‘old’ insights and start to act on them. (Irene Grotendorst)
Older people (55 years of age and older) are a fast growing group all over Europe. Older people are persons, with different wishes, believes, attitudes, values and opinions. One of the objectives of these workshops was to support a paradigm shift towards more citizen centric processes and so a more personal oriented approach.
I was invited with Zilveren Kruis as a participant and to present a study of elderly people in which we found different segments with different behaviour and attitudes towards staying healthy and living a meaningful self-reliant life.
Two days, 19 presentations and six discussions/break outs in a spark workshop setting later, my conclusion is: Great lessons learned.
A. There is no such thing as ‘elderly people’. They are individuals and at best we can start with acknowledging this, and at least starting to work and address them as different groups.
B. For many years now we know that people are much quicker at accepting a treatment or adopting a method if these support their feeling that it will be of benefit to them. Everyone, also older people like to live a meaningful life. Many good intentions fail because of neglecting a person’s feelings and needs.
C. Don’t ask- don’t listen – don’t get answers – don’t know. Workers in cure & care and organizations providing tools and services for older people will be more effective by being a ‘true detective’ of person’s needs.
D. We need to establish a different, far more personal oriented approach a.s.a.p. Sofirst we have to learn more about the 55+ persons.
E. We need extensive reach on feelings as a starting point to educate people. Secondly we need professional and educational programs to help understanding and implementing a different persons diversified approach.
In concept, ideas were developed during the workshops. Programs and projects will be developed by participants (in the following months to be up and running in the next year) to enhance the citizen, older people focussed care in Europe.