Here in the Netherlands the MSD Care Award is given annually as seed funding to innovative ideas that aim to improve the lives of people at care homes. This year the focus was on helping people with Alzheimers.
Ninety-four ideas were submitted and on 18 September we gathered along with two other finalists at the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society Congress in De Doelen, Rotterdam, to find out which idea the jury had selected. And Yey! We won.
So why and what are we planning to do?
The jury comprised last year’s winner, along with senior representatives from a health insurer, Alzheimer Nederland, the Dutch Association of Geriatric Clinicians, MSD, and a professor from Radboud University. The practicality, simplicity and scalability of our idea is what led them to decide that True Doors should win the prize.
We use picture of doors where someone with (early stage) dementia felt at home to create their own personal True Door. This stimulates memory and helps with orientation, making it easier for this group of people to find their rooms in new environments such as care homes.
With the prize money we aim to do this for eighteen people and work with the Trimbos-instituut to undertake quantitative and qualitative research to assess the impact True Doors have. The Trimbos-instituut is a world renowned organisation researching the mental health area. They are one of handful of best practice dissemination partners globally working with the World Health Organization. We are clearly very lucky that they are working with us.
Our thanks to MSD and the jury for their faith in us. We’re really looking forward the project!
Great reactions from across the industry
The feedback back from families, care givers and healthcare professionals has been heartwarming and extremely motivating to read. Our idea resonates with people immediately and I am hopeful that after a few projects there'll be evidence to demonstrate the deeper contribution to helping people with dementia feel safe and comfortable in their new surroundings that well-being True Doors can provide.