The Flanders’ reference framework on dementia care

Quality of care and quality of life for people with dementia is a constant aim for care professionals, policy makers and a hot topic for researchers. Based on scientific research and together with many care facilities, volunteers, carers and people with dementia, the Flanders Centre of Expertise on Dementia studied the questions: what is quality of life, housing and care for people with dementia? Are the ideals we aim for really achievable? Which inspirational examples can we learn from? And how can good care take shape in daily practice?

The result from this process is a reference framework for quality of life, housing and care for people with dementia, written on request of the Flemish government. It presents a model for quality that can be adapted to all aspects of healthcare and welfare. The care relationship is at the heart of the model, in which there are six foundations for quality care: the personal and public perception on dementia, normalisation, independence in security, personalised care, the social network and family carers’ involvement and the role of professional carers and volunteers. These six foundations are the basis for about 20 applications, such as mealtime, daytime activities or advance care planning.

The document is a framework for every new initiative that concerns people with dementia. It encourages conscious thinking about quality of care, inspires health care organizations and care professionals and stimulates them to optimize the care and support they give to people with dementia and their relatives. The framework is relevant to hospitals, nursing homes and home care organizations.

Together with the book/publication the Centre of Expertise on Dementia launched an educational package for health care students. Thanks to the Flemish government and the Optidem+ project several pilot cases are currently being coached by the Flemish and regional centers of expertise on dementia.