The idea was the brain child of a nurse names Jos de Blok about 10 years ago. Teams of nurses are sent out to areas with many seniors and each team is responsible for between 40 and 60 people. A team can be up to 12 nurses and they are supported by administrators and trainers. The nurses not only assist with care but also help seniors and their families understand the importance of illness prevention.
The model is very much a 'neighbourhood care' one with latitude and independence given to the nursing teams to provide care that is necessary within a given structure. It can be adapted to different health care systems and situations as different countries do have different ways that health care is delivered and paid for.
Its an interesting concept and one that may indeed make sense in Canada especially with the costs of current care and the limited number of nursing home beds in our system. An ongoing concern is that while there are many retirement homes in existence, the cost is often higher than basic pensions and so there are many who could benefit from the care but cannot afford it. This concept, along with perhaps co-housing models, and inter-generational housing, with a mix of funding for retirement home living, may allow us to assist people who with our current system, are not able to get the care they need because of financial limitations.
Concerns about caring for our increasing aging population may not be so difficult to resolve if we step outside the box and take the time and initiative to look to models in other countries that are both innovative and well researched.
To find out more about Buurtzorg visit http://www.buurtzorgusa.org
Information for this blog obtained from: https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2017/may/09/buurtzorg-dutch-model-neighbourhood-care