Joan Veldhuizen
Joan Veldhuizen

Maker: Giorgos Gripeos

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Care innovation advisor

Joan Veldhuizen

@joanveldhuizenLinkedIn profileInstagram

As a care innovation advisor Joan focusses on care that fits people who need it, as well as on the environment in which this care is provided. At Kennisland Joan is involved in the national project ‘Zorgeloos Oud’++Zorgeloos Oud (Carefree Old)This is a working title. The project is still in the development phase. where innovative ideas lead to concrete positive changes in the quality of life of elderly people, now and in the future. To Joan it makes sense to work with ideas and experiences that originate from society and the work floor, but she also knows that in practice it doesn’t always work out that way. Often, the leading factor is ‘the system’ instead of the requirements of the person in need of care or support. The key question for Joan is: who is it about? She believes in the power of simplicity and her own strength lies in reducing complexity to its essence.

Joan is an expert in the field of long-term (complex) care. During her career from nurse to manager in psychiatry and nursing homes, she developed a passion for elderly people with dementia. After years of working in psychiatry and dementia care in the Netherlands and England she became a local councillor responsible for the decentralised municipal duties within the social domain. Thus she is familiar with the dynamic environment of people who need support from various perspectives.

In the municipality of Bladel she was the initiator, driving force en chairperson of dementia-friendly Bladel++DementiaAlzheimer Nederland interviewed Joan about a dementia-friendly community. (Dutch). There (and in the rest of the province of Noord-Brabant) she committed herself to creating neighbourhoods and communities that enable and enhance living with dementia.

Inspiring projects spearheaded by her in the context of breaking taboos and sharing knowledge in the field of dementia were those where a connection was made with education or art and culture. Examples: artists suffering from dementia who contributed to increasing awareness by showing their work, or secondary school students who met up with people with dementia for their art assignment. The result was an exposition (Dutch) in the town hall that showed that someone is more than his or her disease.

Joan loves to share her knowledge and experienceJoan creates the space that is needed to empower people within their local environment and to get a clear view of the valuable role they play in the community. during inspirational meetings, with advisory councils, local authorities, university knowledge networks, in publications like ‘Kantelen en de kracht van de eenvoud’++PublicationExamples of a successful transition from citizen participation to government participation. Letting go, leaving structures behind and treading unfamiliar paths were key issues. (‘Tilting and the power of simplicity’) or simply over a cup of coffee. Most of all, she prefers to work with real-life stories of all those people who are involved in the day-to-day care and support of others. And, obviously, with experiences of the people who receive care and support themselves, because they form the most valuable source of information and good ideas. Joan creates the space that is needed to empower people within their local environment and to get a clear view of the valuable role they play in the community.

Joan trained as a psychiatric nurse, followed by a diploma in Management in the Health Sector and a diploma in Coaching++CoachingCoaching individuals and teams, and supervising group processes using coaching models and techniques.. By 2018 she will have completed her degree in Applied Psychology.

Joan enjoys hiking and taking pictures of (unintended) art outside, water, frogs and other small creatures. Once a month she is a moderator at the Alzheimer cafe, where people with dementia, their partners, family and friends meet. Carers and others are also welcome. In a friendly environment that resembles a cafe guests talk about day-to-day issues, dementia, care and support.