BLOG – Final Actifcare Meeting
On the 30th and 31st of March the final meeting of the Actifcare project took place; we presented our results to the Scientific Board and the Advisory Board, and discussed the implications: what could be a better place to do this than the wonderful city of Brescia in Italy, in the peaceful environment of the “Centro_San_Giovanni_di_Dio_Fatebenefratelli”.
The Actifcare group consists of 8 European countries: Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom; every six months we meet in one of these countries to talk about our progress and results, and to discuss the implications.
With this international consortium we have been working very hard to investigate how we can improve the access to formal care for people with mild to moderate dementia and their informal caregivers. Currently, we are in the process of developing best-practice strategies based on our findings.
One of the important findings is that people with dementia and their informal caregivers experience a lack of knowledge concerning not only dementia, but also concerning available services; this is a barrier for access to care. Health care professionals also feel that they do not have sufficient knowledge about the availability of services. In addition, a key contact person who they can turn to is necessary to provide efficient clinical care. We also found significant differences regarding the access to formal care services between the participating countries. Based on these results we are currently formulating best-practice recommendations.
This collaboration was a very fruitful and positive one, and we hope to continue this in a next project!
By Liselot Kerpershoek and Claire Wolfs, Maastricht University, the Netherlands