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A personalised room in a Humanitas home. Photo: Group Homes Australia

Lessons in aged care from the Netherlands

An unapologetic approach to care and a focus on resident choice.

These are two of the tenets of a Dutch approach to aged care that struck founder and chief executive of Group Homes Australia, Tamar Krebs, during her recent trip to the Netherlands.

Krebs flew to the low country to meet with Dr Hans Becker, chairman of Humanitas, a provider that champions a model of care that focuses on self-determination and resident empowerment.

“In the Netherlands, they try to keep people in their local communities, no matter what their level of frailties,” Krebs said. “However, when they get dementia, the idea is to introduce them into social models in the community.”

Similarly, Group Homes Australia’s homes are situated in local communities, allowing residents to stay in familiar environments, but Krebs said there is always room for improvement.

“We would like to personalise the homes even more,” she explained. “Humanitas introduced the concept of creating a space that brings [people] back to their longterm memories, by using meaningful artefacts from their generation or period around the home. These artifacts help them to adjust.”

Aged Care Insite sat down with Krebs to find out more about Humanitas’ approach to care and the lessons she learnt in the Netherlands that can be applied back in Australia.

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