December 9, 2023 at 7:30 am
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Veenendaal Recognize, acknowledge, share knowledge and communicate with fellow patients. To this end, a group of informal caregivers and experienced experts meet every month at the residential care center Veenendaal De Engelenburgh. The Alzheimer’s Café Veenendaal/Renswoude has been around for exactly twenty years last month.
By Marco Depeven
Twenty years of volunteer work for informal carers and people with dementia. “Actually, the terms ‘Alzheimer’s’ and ‘café’ are not entirely appropriate,” admits curator Frans Meijman. He took this position last year after selling his consulting company.
“Because Alzheimer’s disease is only one form of dementia, and it is the most common at 70 percent. Dutch Alzheimer’s – which we belong to – distinguishes between fifty different types.
Contact the subject
Veenendaal volunteers are also not entirely happy with the choice of name ‘café’. “This means a fun and cheerful meeting in a catering establishment, such as a reading café or a cultural café. Our Alzheimer’s café is a place to connect with other patients. For mutual encouragement, to exchange personal thoughts and feelings, to increase knowledge and awareness of dementia.”
Five per hour
Because this is a serious, advanced and incurable disease that must be taken seriously. Dementia is growing dramatically due to population growth and aging. Many baby boomers have now reached the age where they can develop dementia. Five dementia patients are added every hour. Everyone is in danger. A miracle cure for dementia has not yet been found.
One in five men and one in three women get it“In the Netherlands there are currently 300,000 people with an active form of dementia. The government expects the number of patients to double to half a million by 2040. One in five men and one in three women have it. This difference lies in the fact that on average Men’s life expectancy is lower than women’s Dementia care, worth more than €9 billion, is the largest item in the government’s healthcare budget.
The forgotten group
“The pressure on informal caregivers is great. Often very great. And also because older people have to live at home longer and the government is withdrawing from caregiving. It is no coincidence that a commercial from Dutch Alzheimer’s puts it this way.” Convenient: She has it, he has it. In Veenendaal there are more than 1,250 people with dementia, the youngest of whom is only thirty. Four thousand largely invisible informal carers are available to them day and night. A forgotten group. On my street Alone, I already know of three cases in an advanced stage.”
The Alzheimer’s Café Veenendaal/Renswoude relies on twelve volunteers. More volunteers are always welcome. They can register via: [email protected].
Katarina Goossens is the host at the monthly meetings. These meetings are held every third Tuesday of every month – with the exception of July and August – in the meeting room of the De Engelenburgh Hotel.
We are happy that our visitors have the confidence to express themselves in groups
“I receive visitors, serve coffee and take care of the book table. Alzheimer Nederland gives us permission to purchase scientific literature and books from experienced experts. Our visitors can borrow them for free. I also write book reviews for the monthly newsletter.
On average, the Alzheimer’s Café attracts thirty-five visitors, of whom 25 belong to the target group. The others are volunteers, case managers and health care professionals. People with dementia also come at an early stage. Alzheimer’s Café works with partners such as Veens Welzijn and various healthcare providers.
Until I trust
“We’re happy that our visitors have the confidence to vent in a group. Talk openly about what dementia means in their lives. And what it’s like to care for a loved one with dementia.” There is a different topic on the agenda each month. For example, the beneficial effects of music, making a diagnosis or supporting informal care.
The next meeting of the Alzheimer’s Café Veenendaal/Renswoude will be held on Tuesday 19 December and will focus on music and Christmas. Starts at 7:30pm. be seen www.dementieveeenendaal.nl
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