Example homes show the usefulness of healthcare technology in living at home for longer

The reason for furnishing example homes (‘T-Huizen’) is the rapid aging of the Netherlands. In 1990, 12.8 percent of the population was over 65, now it is 20 percent. The government’s policy is to allow people to live at home for as long as possible and to admit them to a nursing home only if there is a really heavy demand for care. Most elderly people also want to live at home for as long as possible. Minister Conny Helder (Long-term care) has indicated that she sees digitization and care technology as important tools for allowing the elderly to live independently in their familiar environment for as long as possible.

Healthcare technology supports living at home

“Anyone who enjoys their home would like to stay there for as long as possible. In the familiar home, in the familiar environment,” says Harrie Windmüller, director of BrabantWonen. “Even if that gets a bit more difficult over time. That is why, together with BrabantZorg and the Koning Willem I College, we have developed the idea of ​​furnishing two example homes, ‘T-Huizen’, full of smart tools.” Residents from the ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Oss regions can now experience for themselves in a low-threshold manner how such aids can support them at home, so that they can continue to live there for as long as possible.

In total, about 70 care technology and other aids were used in the T-Huizen. They benefit safety or communication, health, mobility or nutrition. There is a remote-controlled lock and an automatic door opener. In addition, a stand-up chair and a remote-controlled thermostat can be operated in the houses. There is adapted crockery, a shower chair and a stand-up bar. There are also aids for the bedroom, such as a stand-up bed, a device to open curtains and a bed rail.

Many possibilities

The possibilities of healthcare technology are enormous, believes Miriam Haagh – Reijne, chairman of the Board of Directors of BrabantZorg. “We hope that people will get to know and experience healthcare technology at an early stage. It is accessible to everyone. The great thing about T-Huiz is that healthcare employees, as well as clients and family members, can become familiar with healthcare technology. Because who wouldn’t want to keep their own control and remain independent in their familiar home for as long as possible?” According to Haagh – Reijne, healthcare technology is an answer to this, especially in light of the growing staff shortage in (long-term) healthcare.

Rosa Hessing, director of Care and Welfare King Willem I College, enjoys being able to experience technological solutions in real-life situations. “That gives insight. We are very happy to collaborate on this. And certainly also for our students, the professionals of the future who will take these solutions for granted.”

The two example homes in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Echternachstraat 2) and Oss (Kroezel 8) have been in use for some time. Many people, ranging from healthcare professionals to members of interest groups, have already visited one of the two T-Huizen. On October 31, both T-Houses were officially opened to the public.

More sample homes

In recent years, example homes have been opened more often to show the possibilities of allowing the elderly to live at home longer with the help of care technology. In Rotterdam, wmo radar, housing corporation Woonstad and the municipality opened the Comfort home in 2019. The aim is to show in this example home what is already possible for seniors to set up a home environment with the right support and tools. The Hague already started (in 2016) with the iZi Experience Home as part of the ‘Healthy Long Home’ program.

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