University of Tilburg Chair

A doctoral research was created in order to demonstrate and embed the value of the quality of the care concept at Woonlandschap de Leyhoeve.

Leyhoeve doctoral research at Tranzo

The founders of De Leyhoeve asked Tranzo, Tilburg University, to scientifically research the care concept that they are designing in their medical care suites which combines technological applications and a specific way of providing care when required. We are using doctoral research to help us gain qualitative and quantitative insights into the experiences of senior citizens with dementia, their partners and, where relevant, other caregivers in De Leyhoeve, and how these experiences compare to those of people in more standardised sheltered accommodation. For the future, it is important to understand the experiences of senior citizens receiving care. In order to gather this information easily, we are hoping to identify or create a questionnaire that will give in-depth understanding of their experiences in receiving care. By also looking at the costs, we will generate a Cost Benefit Analysis in which the material and non-material advantages and disadvantages of the technological and social innovation will be quantified in such a way as to lead to a measurable effect, that is the benefits minus the costs (Romijn and Renes 2013).

The doctoral research has the following four goals:

  1. Determine whether senior citizens with dementia can remain self-sufficient for longer at De Leyhoeve and their close family members provide care for longer compared to senior citizens who live in a standard psychogeriatric ward .
  2. Determine whether senior citizens with dementia and their close family members feel better (quality of life and well-being) in this type of care than senior citizens who live in a standard psychogeriatric ward.
  3. To find or design a suitable questionnaire that can easily measures senior citizens’ experiences with care services.
  4. Determine how the costs of live-in care and medical aids in the medical care suites of De Leyhoeve compare to the costs in a standard psychogeriatric ward.

Scientific research into the concept of care in the medical care suites at De Leyhoeve for people with dementia is relevant for several reasons. The first step is to assess if the concept of care at De Leyhoeve is demonstrably better – in the sense of well-being, quality of life, self-sufficiency and caregiving – for senior citizens and their close family members and is a better or comparable situation at lower costs than standard psychogeriatric care. Only if this proves to be the case does it make sense to go to scale in the Netherlands and possibly in other countries too. This is a refreshing approach in the care of the elderly where new forms of residential care emerge and are rolled out at a relatively large scale without evidence whether the innovations provide better or similar care at lower costs. Examples include both small-scale residential care for people with dementia as well as drop-in centres for senior citizens.

A structured scientific description of the care concept of the medical care suites at De Leyhoeve in which the three elements – physical design, method of care provision and costs – are studied will also give insights into the contributing elements and will make later implementation simpler. The comparison of De Leyhoeve with the concepts of care in regular care institutions will make clear the extent to which and how it differs from standard care. Thorough comparison will generate  points of consideration both for De Leyhoeve and standard health care.

Professor Katrien Luijkx