Farewell speech Professor Rose-Marie Dröes

For over 40 years, Prof Rose-Marie Dröes conducted research on psychosocial support for people with dementia. On 11 October 2022, she held her farewell speech in the auditorium of the VU University of Amsterdam.


She began her lecture with a poem she wrote as a teenager, where attention to emotions was expressed early on. When she later came in contact with people with dementia, she could not imagine that behavioural and mood problems were all related to brain degeneration. A view that was still common in the 1980s. How people cope with the effects of dementia also partly determined their behaviour and based on that, Rose-Marie developed the adaptation-coping model for dementia care. Besides coping with seven adaptive tasks after receiving the diagnosis dementia, it includes other factors such as personal factors, co-morbidity, material and social factors.

Dit model is de basis geweest voor vele psychosociale interventies die Rose-Marie heeft ontwikkeld en geevalueerd. Het is daarbij altijd belangrijk om goed te weten wat mensen belangrijk vinden voor hun kwaliteit van leven en daar zo goed mogelijk bij aan te sluiten in de zorg en ondersteuning. Een voorbeeld van een psychosociale interventie die gebaseerd is op het adaptatie coping model zijn de Ontmoetingscentra voor mensen met dementie en hun naasten. Deze zijn inmiddels wijd verspreid in Nederland en zijn ook genoemd in de nationale dementiestrategie 2021-2030. Een doel van deze strategie is dat 80% van de thuiswonende mensen in 2030 toegang heeft tot een ontmoetingscentrum in de eigen regio. Ook buiten Nederland zijn er ontmoetingscentra opgezet en geevalueerd.
Rose-Marie has also worked to develop and evaluate e-Health interventions that can help with needs of people with dementia and their loved ones and/or promote quality of life. Examples include FindMyApps, the Fotoscope app, Into d'mentia, and the STAR online training.

Rose-Marie Dröes will continue to work one day a week as professor of psychosocial support for dementia. She also initiated to establish the Academische Werkplaats Hulp bij dementie na de diagnoseThis working place was officially opened prior to her farewell lecture. Its aim is to strengthen the connection between research, education and practice. In doing so, it aims to contribute to improving the care and quality of life of people living at home with dementia and their informal carers but also to promote the expertise of care and welfare professionals and volunteers. This means that despite her chair will cease to exist due to her departure, her long-standing mission can continue.


To top it all off, Rose-Marie Dröes also received a prestigious award from the City of Amsterdam for her years of dedication to people with dementia: the Frans Banninck Cocqpenning!
From the 40 years work experience of Rose-Marie, I worked almost 20 years with her and I’ve learned a lot from her! Many thanks for that and I wish her all the best!


Knowledge base digital care shares innovative applications

In 2022, Vilans has made the digital care knowledge base available online. Vilans, in cooperation with many other parties, wants to use this knowledge base to share knowledge about digital applications in elderly care in a uniform and independent manner. For example, for each application is clearly explained what it is, for whom it is intended and how it can be financed. Hard and soft costs and benefits are also described, as are research findings.

The knowledge base is work-in-progress. At present, eight applications have been described, including a bed sensor, lifestyle monitoring and support for daily structure.
The website can be viewed here and new applications or pilot research can also there also be registered.

Congratulations to winners of WJC 2022!

On Wednesday 6 April the winners of the World JAIN Challenge 2022 were formally announced by Conny Helder - Minister of Long-Term Care and Sport. This happened during an online broadcast from the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland. As chairman of the WJC jury I had the honour to invite Minister Helder to announce the winners. The ceremony can be viewed here (from time: 1:00:56)

In the category best prototype to support people with dementia, the winner is: DeepVibes, by Frederico Allegro and his team from the UK.
DeepVibes wants to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers by developing an Artificial Intelligence application based on reminiscence therapy, which is a proven effective intervention in dementia. The app stimulates conversations, records them and thus keeps these memories digital and easily available. The recordings are analysed with Artificial Intelligence technology and provide information about cognitive and language abilities. The app is available for free and is still being developed. See here for a movie.

And the best product is Genus Home Care by Marie-Christine Vierhout and her team from the Netherlands.
Genus Home care helps people with dementia to stay connected, it records their daily patterns and changes in the environment, and it gives alerts if there is a worrying event. The device is a beautiful smart picture frame where photos can be shared and video contact can take place. There are various sensors, for example to register movement, light, sound, gas and carbon monoxide, after which an alarm can be raised.

Hopefully, the prize will give an impetus to these technological applications and will help to make a real difference in healthcare practice. And of course the same goes for the other finalists, who also shared great applications. The members of the European Working Group for People with Dementia (EWGPWD) liked all the products and thought they would be well accepted by the target group.

See here For the complete broadcast of the award ceremony, including the round table discussion (from minute 21:00) with Prof. Wijnand Ijsselsteijn (TU/e), Drs. Jos de Groot (director digital economy, Ministry of Economic Affairs), Mr. Roland Driece (director international affairs, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport) and me (chairman of the WJC jury, Amsterdam UMC) and the pitch by Minister Conny Helder (from minute 55:01).

De prijsuitreiking Discussie Oprichter Hans Arnold met de prijzen

Pitches of the 6 finalists of the WJC awards and reflection by Maartje

On 23 and 24 March, webinars were broadcasted from the Netherlands Innovation House at the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm. The webinar on March 23 was opened by Bengt van Loosdrecht, the Dutch Ambassador to Sweden. During the webinars, several lectures took place and the finalists pitched their prototype or product. The finalists in the category best prototypes were: CeCe from CREaiTors in Singapore, MyAvos from Switzerland and DeepVibes from Great Britain. In the best product category, the finalists were: InspireD Reminiscence app from Great Britain, Genus Home care from the Netherlands ReAct app from Denmark.

It was nice to hear the pitches and of course also nice to be present at the broadcast in Stockholm in the company of my daughter Maartje! She has written a nice blog about this from her experience as a humanist caregiver.

Reflectie op de World JAIN Challenge door Maartje de Haas, humanist counsellor
Last week I attended the World JAIN Challenge (WJC) in Stockholm with my mother. JAIN is an abbreviation and stands for: Joint Artificial Intelligence Network. JAIN's mission is to develop affordable assistive technologies for people with dementia and caregivers worldwide to improve the quality of life.
At the WJC, people from all over the world could submit ideas (prototypes) and products that fit JAIN's mission. The jury of this Challenge consists of a chairman (not coincidentally: my mother), people with dementia, family caregivers, care professionals, experts in the field of dementia and experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence. On April 6, the winners of the best prototype and the best product will be announced by Conny Helder, Minister for Long-Term Care and Sport.

Prior to this trip to Stockholm, I did not know whether this Challenge would be a good fit for my work. I work as a humanist counsellor in several nursing homes in Amsterdam. I see my work mainly as making a connection, with compassion at its core: seeing the other as a human being, rather than (for example) as a patient. When I think of assistive technologies in healthcare, I often get an uneasy feeling. As if technology is going to replace people, which is diametrically opposed to my vision.

At the WJC it became clear to me that technology can also have another effect. It can support the conversation with people suffering from dementia (or their carers). Several products and prototypes of the finalists were aimed at deepening the conversation. For example, by developing an app that can be used as a tool (based on reminiscence) to start a conversation between the person suffering from dementia and his/her environment. Or a tablet that makes accessible video calls possible, allowing carers to have more remote contact with their loved ones, giving them more peace of mind and less stress.
I think of the conversation I had years ago with a man with dementia in a nursing home. He comes from Ireland but has lived in the Netherlands for years. On a large screen I go to Google Maps and we type in his street name. By means of Google Streetview, we 'walk' through his old neighbourhood. Memories surface: the family doctor, the aunt, the place where he ate sweets during break or played with friends. Talking about these memories, seeing his old neighbourhood, realising that he has not forgotten everything: it gives him confidence and makes him happy. It was a wonderful conversation, made possible by technology. I realise, during this JAIN challenge, that my uneasy feeling with technology is not true: I have even used it in practice. How nice would it be to get more attention and more ideas about what else technology can do? Technology does not have to mean that the human side of care is diminished: in this way, it can even improve it. I am looking forward to following these developments and to working with them more consciously myself in practice.

Would you like to see the speakers at the event (Bengt van Loosdrecht, Prof. Charles Scerri, Dr. Franka Meiland, Prof. Dr. Arlene Astell, Prof. Bengt Wingblad, Prof. Dr. Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Prof. Dr. Ye-Liang Hsu) and the presentations of the finalists? You can do so via this link
Here you will also be able to watch the announcement of the winners on the 6th of April.
The WJC is a cooperation of INTERDEM, Alzheimer Nederland, Alzheimer Europe and Vilans. The Netherlands Innovation Network (based in the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm) was a great host for this event. JAIN was founded by Artificial Intelligence expert Hans Arnold, who now focuses on the field of dementia care. His son Thomas is co-founder.

The World JAIN Challenge: call for applications!

JAIN stands for Joint Artificial Intelligence Network and this network focuses on better (inter)national cooperation regarding products and services, based on Artificial Intelligence, that improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families. The World JAIN Challenge is a competition with a prize for the best product and the best idea that contribute to the goal. Registrations can be made via the website:

With this initiative, JAIN hopes to achieve more awareness about good products and services, more collaboration and ultimately to have people with dementia and their families benefits from this in everyday life! As chairman of the jury, I hope to see great initiatives and I hereby call on you to send in your product or idea! This is possible until 28 January 2022 (unless the maximum number of submissions has been reached earlier).

JAIN also helps to set up fieldlabs to promote collaboration and development of AI products, and also webinars will be organised. More information can be found on the website: You can also follow JAIN on LinkedIn: