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Integrated Neighbourhood Approach

Reinforcing networks between welfare, health care, informal care and community members in neighbourhoods

The point of departure of Integrated Neighbourhood is reinforcing networks between welfare, health care, informal care and community members in neighbourhoods, optimizing current services, and involving the (frail) elderly. Such a demand-driven approach offers elderly people tailored care - including care-related services such as housing - in their local context to enhance self-management abilities and well-being. The focus is on "de-medicalisation" and recognition of mutual dependence between welfare, health care, and informal care.

An Integrated Neighbourhood Approach is based on reinforcing neighbourhood networks through which continuous, demand-driven, coordinated care and support can eventually be offered to all independently-living frail elderly persons. Community workers - professionals with a care or welfare background familiar with the residential area - are important to the network. They visit the elderly at home and map their wishes and needs via a phased interview. In consultation with the elderly, they seek appropriate solutions within the (preferably informal) network. Such a transition experiment aims to facilitate independently-living frail elderly persons (70+) to live the life they wish to live, improving their well-being.

In the integrated neighbourhood approach the key figures, community workers and the elderly play an important role. Key figures who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the neighbourhoods are represented by active residents as well as professionals working in these areas (e.g. general practitioners, social workers, police officers). If key figures notice an older person might be in need of support they are expected to reach out to the community worker via a signal.

These community workers have health and social care backgrounds and have been temporarily reassigned to INA teams, which often include at least one social worker and one community nurse familiar with the neighbourhood. Community workers visit older people at home and map their wishes and needs via phased interviews. In consultation with older people, community workers seek appropriate solutions within (preferably informal) networks.

Ivo Brandsen
+31 10 244 82 40