Hilde Verbeek appointed as new chair of the Limburg Living Lab in Ageing and Long-Term Care

As of April 1, 2024, Prof. Dr. Hilde Verbeek has been appointed as the new chair of the Limburg Living Lab in Ageing and Long-Term Care (AWO Limburg). She takes over the role of Prof. Dr. Jan Hamers, who has founded this unique partnership between academia, practice, education and policy more than 25 years ago.

Hilde Verbeek: “Since 2006 I have worked in various roles and positions at the AWO Limburg. I have seen the enthusiasm grow into the sustainable collaboration with long-term care organizations, educational institutes and scientific research that it is today. I am honored to further develop the AWO Limburg as chair. People are getting older. The changing population influences the way we live, work and care for each other. This means long-term care changes as well, with focus on the balance between people who need care and support and those who can provide it. With the AWO Limburg we have been working with older persons, their families, staff, students, teachers, administrators, policy makers, companies and scientists for over 25 years. This has yielded a lot, for example new working methods in long-term care to empower older people and staff. Contribution to policy, such as how nursing homes could be opened safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research resulted in products, such as assessment tools to map the quality of care or a scan to determine the extent to which organizations are ready for innovations in the future.”

Jan Hamers: “At the same time, the environment in which we operate has changed significantly. Where we used to be the only network, there are now many and overlapping networks. In addition, there are new issues and challenges. Consider the sustainability of long-term care and the use of Artificial Intelligence. Within AWO Limburg I see a lot of talent to tackle these challenges. Both at long-term care organizations, educational institutions and universities. That is also the moment for new leadership and for me the sign to hand over. I do that with pride and a lot of confidence!”

The AWO Limburg offers an independent space where people with different backgrounds and ideas can meet each other. Hilde Verbeek: “We all have different images and ideas about good care. Using scientific research, together with older persons, their families and staff, we ask questions that affect your daily life and work. We collect data and interpret it. Change is exciting and difficult. By linking research to it, we empower people. You will see that things can be done differently and that together we can improve the quality of life, care and work in long-term care.”

The Limburg Living Lab in Ageing and Long-Term Care is a formal and structural collaboration between 9 long-term care organizations (MeanderGroep Zuid-Limburg, Sevagram, Envida, Cicero Zorggroep, Zuyderland, Vivantes, Land van Horne, Proteion en De Zorggroep), 2 vocational training institutes (Gilde en VISTA College), Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and Maastricht University.  

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