Getting old healthier and happier in Gelderland-Midden thanks to Samen Kwiek

Getting old

News − 06 May 2024

While in the Dutch rural region of Gelderland-Midden people are getting old, the Samen Kwiek platform has come into play to address the citizen needs. The marketplace is improving the inhabitants lives, making them healthier and happier.

The region of Gelderland-Midden, in the Netherlands, is getting old. The aging population and the increase in people with chronic diseases cast doubts on the care systems’ sustainability towards the future. As a consequence, the demand on health and social care organizations is expected to outgrow its capacity. Moreover, the society’s mindset is changing from ‘illness & care’ to ‘health & behaviour’. The inhabitants of Gelderland-Midden need to become increasingly self-reliant and cooperative. Which requires stronger collaboration between care and welfare, and an inhabitant-centred approach.

To face such challenges, the region has launched Samen Kwiek (meaning “fit together”): a digital marketplace that implements the dRural platform offering a big variety of services. The result is a unique cross-domain collaboration between a municipality (Gemeente Lingewaard), a welfare organisation (Stichting Welzijn Lingewaard), the Rijnstate hospital, a network organisation in healthcare innovation (Health Valley), and the start-up Pact Care.

Getting old: The healthier, the happier

Betting on the Samen Kwiek platform means betting on a new vision for the region. The goal is to make Gelderland-Midden a place where people have healthy habits: exercise, healthy food, and social and healthcare. Through the platform, inhabitants can access the most suitable services more easily, improving their welfare and health. The partners involved believe that Samen Kwiek will contribute saving time for professionals and preventing the occurrence of severe deaseases and more expensive cares. The platform will make inhabitants healthier and happier, letting them live in a place where people take care of each other and where everyone feels part of the cummunity.

The citizen touch: Co-creating the platform

Healthcare professionals and inhabitants are positive about the new platform. After the first identification of the challenges and needs to be addressed, the partners are now testing and optimising the platform in co-creation with end users. All subjects involved are co-working to learn how to use the platform in the region. On Samen Kwiek, people can already browse through the complete offer of already available but “unkwnown” services on the platform. Professionals can directly book activities or refer services to inhabitants. Of course, there is still space for development and improvement, but the route is already leading towards an increasingly inclusive and socially-supportive region.

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Picture: cottonbro studio on Pexels

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