Mini-conference on Sustainable Elderly Care on Bonaire

A mini-conference on sustainable elderly care took place on Bonaire on the 29th of June. The event was organised by Fringe/Kennemerhart and ZJCN (Health and Youth Caribbean Netherlands). The topics discussed included quality of care, prevention and collaboration between partners in the care supply chain. Almost all the organisations involved with elderly care were present and took part in various working groups. There was a noticeably high willingness and commitment to work together.


The participants included representatives of general practitioners, the ZW group, Akseso, Fundashon Mariadal, Kas Flamboyan Hospice Care, Kalor di Hogar, FAB and informal care support, PCN, ZJCN and public health and policy officers from Public Entity Bonaire.

Various points were raised in the working groups, including that collaboration should start early in the supply chain, and that it is important to consider what elderly people who are still healthy want and can do to ensure a happy and healthy old age. The participants pointed out that it is also important to use the correct means of communication and to monitor whether elderly people are satisfied with the support and care they receive. Another point raised was the need to plan for the future and for the growth in the number of elderly people on the island who will require care. The prognosis is that more than 30% of the population will be over 65 by 2050. The development of plans for a new nursing home was also discussed in this context. The participants emphasised that these plans should take into account the cultural aspects of how residents wish to live and spend time together. Ensuring that the level of education and training of employees align with the care and support needs of residents was also discussed.

Another topic covered was community-oriented care. Effective collaboration at community level demands that the supply chain partners know one another well. To this end, there was plenty of opportunity for networking during the mini-conference. In the near future, a programme manager will actively begin helping the supply chain partners to take specific steps towards greater collaboration and to implement various points that were raised in the working groups. The Community and Care Directorate at Public Entity Bonaire and Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (part of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport) will work together to implement these steps with all stakeholders.