What about exactly?
There were many reactions to our article ‘Change of policy in ‘t Dijkhuis‘. It raises many questions. Much is unclear. Are our fellow residents no longer allowed to go to the day care facility in ‘t Dijkhuis? And now? Joke Boevink, advisor for the elderly at Wijkracht, CRAB (Creative Atelier Borne) and a policy memorandum from the municipality provide more clarity.
Before the TMZ, TriviumMeulenbeltZorg, announced its changed policy choices, the municipality was in talks with Wijkracht Ouderen to develop new activities. People who, due to their illness and limitations, need professional daytime activities, receive an indication for this from the WMO or WLZ, Long-term Care Act. For the inhabitants of Borne, the Tuinkamer in Hertme, organized by Carintreggeland and a care farm are possibilities to go to. TMZ offers daytime activities for the residents of ‘t Dijkhuis.
The latest development, set up by the municipality and Wijkracht, focuses on seniors who would like to meet others. An offer in which the elderly find fun and distraction for part of a day. It concerns people who do not come here immediately of their own accord. It is run by volunteers.
The municipality has designed a plan for organizing general facilities. The proposal is that Wijkracht, together with volunteer organizations and volunteers, will set up two general facilities, aimed at meeting people and meaningful daytime activities. This is in addition to the indicated customized provision for daytime activities. Initially for a pilot of one year.
“TMZ makes its own policy choices”, says Joke Boevink (photo opposite). “I understand, but it’s more than a shame that they feel compelled to make these choices.” During the period when Covid-19 hit enormously, we sometimes lived in a lockdown. It became even more clear that contacts are vital. For old and young. Some elderly people necessarily received an indication for daytime activities due to the lack of contacts and a network. The elderly advisor notices that there is a large group of people who need contact, to be able to do something, to belong, to feel welcome. It is often the elderly who no longer take the initiative to investigate. The effort it takes to arrange it all, to get there, to know what it offers you, doesn’t seem to outweigh what it offers you. Disruption and unburdening is then what is needed. This resulted in the establishment of a general facility for people without indication. This and out of necessity from a cost control of day care, the municipality developed a plan.
CRAB and Letterbak
Day care or ‘doing what is still possible’ as Toon ‘t Hoen and Gerard Scholten of CRAB call it. The activities will soon take place at the locations de Letterbak and at the Kunsthus/CRAB Foundation. It is based on one’s own needs. The visitor must above all indicate himself or herself what he or she likes to do. Whether it’s painting, sculpting, making cryptos or rummikuppen, it’s all possible. If several people need a gymnastics class, that can be organised. Coffee is served and eaten together. There is no minimum age for these meeting activities for seniors.
Depending on the location, six to a maximum of twenty participants can participate at the same time. The personal contribution varies between 6.50 and 10 euros per day. They are volunteers who receive and guide the participants. No nursing or care is offered. In principle, everyone should be able to go to the toilet themselves and manage with food. “Where volunteering goes beyond it, it stops. That has nothing to do with competences, but with bearing responsibility,” Boevink argues. No paid employees work at either location.
Two specifically trained gentlemen work at the Kunsthus, also known as CRAB. Both have a training in the arts sector. In addition, they are pedagogically trained. Given their age, 71, they have a good sense of the target group. They focus on painting, drawing and clay. ‘t Hoen and Scholten can advise the participants in the design of the work. The condition is that the visitor ‘enjoys’ being creative. One looks for what is possible with being limited. Working with your options.
“People have qualities. Look at what you can still do if you have a disability”, underlines ‘t Hoen. He gives as an example someone who is visually impaired. We can help with the creative process of creating a pastel drawing. There are currently six participants here. “We are all working together.” That gives a positive impulse. It’s about your mental health. “If you feel comfortable, you need less care,” says Scholten. They notice that people talk to each other through the paper. After all, that creative process is the common interest. For five years now, on Fridays, people have come here who make use of a meaningful daytime activity. The costs are covered from the proceeds of workshops that they provide to other groups.
But how do you get there? Boevink continues: “You don’t need an indication, but you do need to contact Wijkracht first.” Based on the demand and needs of people, they jointly investigate what is desired. This could be this new meeting activity or other current activities in Borne. For example, The Talking House, an exercise group, the Eetpunt. They also arrange and unburden to shoot ‘the bears on the road’. A practice nurse from a general practitioner, a family member or the elderly person can register. A new brochure ‘Meet, sports and exercise for seniors’ is currently being finalized. This includes a broad overview of everything that is organized in our municipality.
‘The older the person, the more unique’
This new form of meeting activities is necessary because care for the elderly will change now and in the coming years. “It is not all feasible anymore due to the increase in the elderly and the shortage of staff,” explains Boevink. It is important that people ask themselves early on: how do I want to grow old and what do I need? And as you get older: stay focused on what interests you, what you do well, keep going out, share your problems with others. Boevink tells her story as an inspired elderly advisor. She does not classify the group of seniors under one denominator. It is not one target group with the same wishes and needs. She underlines her observations from experience: “The older a person, the more unique he is.” (YD)
The question remains: Do people in Borne fall between two stools? Which facilities are more necessary to allow everyone to participate? More on that later.