Monday, July 15, 2024

Dementia Research Programme by ZonMw and Alzheimer Nederland Funds Four Innovative Projects

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The Dementia Research Programme of ZonMw, in collaboration with Alzheimer Nederland, has recently awarded funding to four innovative projects through HBO fellowship subsidies. These practice-oriented studies are carried out by researchers affiliated with universities of applied sciences and aim to contribute to the prevention and treatment of this disease, as well as improving the quality of life for those affected by the condition and their loved ones. The awarded projects exemplify creative and innovative approaches to practice-oriented research.

The personal grants provided through HBO fellowships enable researchers from universities of applied sciences to embark on new and creative practice-oriented research. These projects are designed to have a significant scientific and social impact, offering added value to the current landscape of dementia care in the Netherlands. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of professional practices that enhance the prevention and treatment of this disease.

ZonMw aims to bridge the gap between research and practical application in healthcare through these projects. The funded research focuses on creating tangible improvements in dementia care, ensuring that the outcomes have real-world applicability and benefit. This initiative underscores the importance of aligning scientific inquiry with practical needs, enhancing the overall efficacy and reach of this disease care services.

Dementia Projects Aim to Empower Patients, Improve Caregiver Satisfaction, and Optimize Visual Functioning

This project seeks to empower people with dementia and their caregivers by involving them in goal-setting and action-planning with a case manager. By adapting the existing 4-sphere model to meet their specific needs and testing it in three phases, the project aims to create better-aligned and executable plans that facilitate continued active participation in society. Recognizing the complexity and burden of providing this disease care at home, this project aims to measure and enhance the job satisfaction of community nurses. By examining the impact of interprofessional collaboration, the project seeks to improve the quality of primary care for people with dementia living at home and address the high turnover rates among nursing staff.

Many individuals with dementia suffer from visual impairments but do not receive adequate eye care at home. This project focuses on optimizing the visual functioning of people with this disease by developing dementia-friendly eye care solutions. These interventions aim to support daily visual activities and promote greater independence for individuals living at home.

As care for people with dementia increasingly takes place within ‘care triangles’—comprising people with this disease, informal carers, and professionals—this project aims to develop practical methods to address tensions within these groups. The goal is to improve cooperation and relationships among all care partners, enhancing the overall quality of care.


A 10-Year, €140 Million Initiative for Advancing Dementia Solutions

The Dementia Research Programme (OPD) is a comprehensive initiative spanning ten years with a budget of 140 million euros. Last year, the program launched five multidisciplinary consortia, large partnerships involving diverse disciplines to conduct collaborative research. Additionally, a partnership focused on valorization—integrating research, education, and care—was funded. Five fellowships were also launched for researchers working at universities. The program represents a significant opportunity to find solutions for this disease by further unraveling the disease, developing preventive therapies, and improving diagnostics. The new projects funded through HBO fellowships are expected to make substantial contributions to these goals.

The Dementia Research Programme is a key component of the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) spearheaded by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The NDS has three main pillars: eradicating this disease, ensuring people with this disease are valued, and providing tailored support. The OPD falls under the first pillar, focusing on eliminating dementia. ZonMw also supports the second pillar by working on initiatives such as providing appropriate day activities for people with this disease and conducting social trials.

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Through these efforts, ZonMw is committed to advancing the understanding and treatment of this disease, ultimately improving the lives of those affected by the condition and their caregivers. The innovative projects funded through the Dementia Research Programme exemplify this commitment, highlighting the potential for significant advancements in dementia care and research.


Resource: ZonMw, July 11, 2024

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