Last fall, three representatives from the North East CCAC - Nurse Manager Tammy Windsor, Care Coordinator Nathalie Bureau, and Director of Research, Planning and Partnership Rob Barnett - embarked on a weeklong study tour to the Netherlands on the invitation of Windesheim University in the provincial capital of Zwolle. The trio was accompanied by colleagues from the Alzheimer’s Society and the North East Specialized Geriatric Services (who attended thanks to the advocacy of the CCAC, in recognition of their important role in the care of community patients with dementia).
The trip marked the end of year two of a multi-year research project funded by the Netherlands government, focusing on case management excellence for people with dementia and their families, and the creation of an international community of practice of researchers and care coordinators.
The North East delegation shadowed care coordination providers across Belgium and the Netherlands, accompanying them on home visits, experiencing their innovative residence models and learning of their shared and unique challenges.
“These providers are considered world-wide leaders in dementia care,” says Rob Barnett. “In the Netherlands, care coordination is an insured service that people can purchase, like physiotherapy or personal support, and is the singular focus for these agencies. It’s a unique model of care.”
The North East CCAC hopes to continue to play a role in this international research study as it presents an exciting opportunity to discover common ground and gain insight into new approaches to improve care for patients with dementia.
“This is practical research,” says Nathalie Bureau. “I am bringing home tips and tools that will help our Care Coordination team take a more holistic approach to care for dementia patients and their families.”
“Having the ability to tap into a community of practice of care coordination excellence is invaluable,” adds Tammy Windsor. Working alongside these leading edge providers has been an incredible experience.”
Nathalie Bureau (second from left), Tammy Windsor (fourth from left), and Rob Barnett (second from right), with other representatives from Northeastern Ontario, pose with staff from the Geraint agency. The group visited six communities in all, from Zwolle to Bruges, from Utrecht to the far northern coast.