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Organisation of the ageing society


Semester 2, February 6 till April 7 2017

Admission requirements
Bachelor degree and admission to Master Vitality & Ageing

The organisation of our ageing society needs innovation. To understand the reasons and need for change, students will acquire a thorough understanding of the demographic aspects of ageing. Students will become acquainted with the differences in patterns of mortality that underlie the epidemiological transition. Students will acquire knowledge of the concepts of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, as well as insights into international differences in life expectancy.

Given the increasing incidence of chronic diseases across the world, it has become essential to search for more effective strategies to prevent and manage these diseases. Furthermore, intervention to improve vitality are important. This demands important changes in organisation of healthcare. Students will become acquainted with different models of care, such as the chronic care model, integrative care model and preventive care model. International differences will be described and analysed. Theories will not only be focussed on hospital care, but also on organisation of public health care, primary care and long-term care. Moreover, the students will learn about the international differences in health and access to health care caused by illiteracy, social economic status, cultural differences and different contexts.

In this courses students learn to critically analyse real-life problems in the public sector and public sector organisations in the current ageing society. Focus will be on financial challenges like the costs of an ageing society, governmental policy, governmental decision making and managerial issues in health care. The link between the formal care in hospitals and the importance of social networks to improve health, vitality and longevity will be discussed as well as the role of informal care and social support.

Innovation will be needed in all types of organisations and in governmental policy. In this course we will systematically compare international health care policies . This will be on national level, regional level and local level. A main point of interest will be how to use networks in management, how to change organisations to implement innovations and how to involve older persons in these changes and innovation. This new way of government has some challenging aspect, which will be studied.

Course objectives
The student:

  • understands historical and current demographic trends in life expectancy and in the distribution of disability, disease and death

  • explains what the basic models of health care structures and models of care are

  • is able to make decisions from a management perspective in the daily management of an institution for the care or cure of older people

  • actively makes new links between the fields of gerontology, geriatrics and healthcare structure and is able to relate these fields from an international perspective

  • is able to understand and analyze opportunities and challenges in diverse health care settings and write policy recommendations on the basis of this understanding.

Mode of instruction
Lectures, discussion groups, self-study, (practical) assignments

Assessment method
Written exam and oral and written assignments, in groups or individual. More information will be published on blackboard.

Reading list
Will be published on Blackboard