We are getting older, and the number of elderly people is increasing, too. To paint a picture: in 2040, 26% of the population is estimated to be over the age of 65, a third of which will pass 80. But the number of care professionals, volunteers, and caregivers per senior will decrease even further. In 2012, four people were employed for every person aged 65 and over, by 2040 there will be just two. Imagine the pressure on healthcare. How will we manage the pressure on healthcare services in the future? With smart, hopeful solutions!
Leven Lang Leven (Lifelong Living) is about exactly that: finding groundbreaking concepts and radically new plans. It’s about being able to grow old and live your life the way you want – until the very end. Many dread the idea, to become old and no longer self-reliant. But for most of us, there will come a time when we will need further care and support. How can we ensure we continue doing the things that are most important to us? How do we stay in control of our lives? How do we maintain our social life? How can we remain of importance to others? How do we continue leading a balanced life? How can we continue learning? And how can we help each other give and receive care? Leven Lang Leven challenges the people of the Netherlands to think about these questions to imagine their ideal life in old age.
We all want to hold onto the things that are most important to us. Also in old age.
Together with Kennisland, a foundation researching and shaping social progress, and with support from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, we set up a national programme to collect valuable ideas for a futureproof society. We know that we’ll live at home longer, that we need more people in nursing care and that our care needs are becoming increasingly complex. So by addressing and strengthening the innovative potential of care professionals, volunteers and caregivers, but also of the people outside the sector, we hope to develop viable and sustainable formats for the future and initiate a widely supported, positive movement around growing old nicely.
Drawing both from unexpected sources and experts in the field, the project consists of two campaigns: outside and inside healthcare. The first call was directed towards a broad audience. Entrepreneurs, students, architects, policymakers, radio producers alike were invited to submit their ideas – from thought-provoking concepts to initiatives already in-the-making. At the time of writing, the second call is just launching. It is aimed at professionals working in or with nursing homes, be they interns, nurses, facilitators, or directors. Both trajectories vary in execution, but they are both centered on gaining as many contributions as possible through the open call. After careful selection, the most promising entries will be given a development budget and brought to full maturity in an accelerator programme.
When beginning a discussion about the last years of our lives, and thinking about what it would take to live that period to its fullest, it’s important to treat that time as vital. Why should the last chapter be any less valuable? That’s why we’ve added energy and a sense of possibility to a subject that appeared overlooked. By creating a new language, we’ve brought to life a future scenario in which everyone can identify, appealing to professionals, the elderly, and also, crucially, younger generations.