Future healthcare professionals are an important factor in the well-being of older adults. That is why the National Foundation for Elderly has set up the iConnect project together with a team of relevant international partners. In iConnect we developed a teaching module to inspire students to choose elderly care. We used creative means such as mucis, theatre, poetry and art. Students practiced by putting these resources into practice for elderly people with dementia.
The iConnect project
Europe’s population is aging; more people are getting older and more people are reaching higher ages. The aging of the population is also increasing the number of people with dementia. This means greater pressure on healthcare providers. At the same time, there is an increasing shortage of elderly care professionals. Government agencies across Europe recognize this problem and many have already pledged more investment in the aged care field. However, as long as students do not see the elderly sector as an interesting career option, the gap between supply and demand for elderly care will remain and widen.
iConnect aimed to involve people with dementia more in society while motivating students to make elder care a potential and interesting option for their studies
We do this by developing a teaching module based on creative learning, with elements of theatre, music, poetry and art. These methods will be combined and shared internationally through a learning platform.
The project builds on creative learning principles of applied theatre to connect with people with dementia. The results provide students, as future healthcare professionals, with tools to communicate with people with dementia. Creating reciprocity in communication strengthens the sense of well-being, identity and social inclusion for people with dementia.
The teaching module is freely available now and can be downloaded from the website: https://www.iconnectdementia.eu/courses/moodle-registration.
For more information or a workshop about this method, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Running: January 2018 – September 2020
Partners: University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (NL); Lahti University of Applied Sciences (FI); University of Ioannina (GR); University of Udine (Italy); Alzheimer Hellas (Greece)