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Vitality and Ageing


Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Key words:

Skills: Video pitch, target group research, product design, innovation.

Topics: Vitality, ageing, biological age and health care, innovation.

Disciplines: Medicine, Biology, Public administration.


The organisation of our ageing society needs innovation. Given the increasing incidence of chronic diseases across the world, it has become essential to deal with complexity and to search for more effective strategies to prevent and manage diseases and their consequences. Innovations will be needed in all types of elderly care and elderly support to improve vitality of older people.

In this class, you will learn how the Dutch health care system deals with the challenges of an ageing society, by offering integrated care and developing innovations in care. Main points of interest will be how organisations deal with changes and how to involve older people in innovations.
To understand the reasons and need for change, you will also acquire a thorough understanding of the demographic aspects of ageing. The concepts of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy will be discussed. You will gain a basic understanding of limitations which are common in ageing individuals.

During the course you will follow lectures about vitality, demography and the healthcare system and you will follow working groups in which you learn to analyse a problem and to design a care innovation, in cocreation with older individuals.
At the end of the course, each student has designed an innovation that contributes to the vitality of older people. The student will present this innovation in a creative video pitch and will substantiate the evidence for this innovation in a written report. This class asks for a hands-on mentality.

Course objectives:

Upon succesfull completion of this course, the student is able to:

  • explain the current demographic trends in life expectancy and the consequences for the organisation of healthcare

  • to systematically analyse opportunities and challenges in healthcare settings and design innovations on the basis of this analysis

  • critically establish the value and applicability of innovations, taking the perspectives of older people into account

  • write and present coherently and convincingly, while applying modern presentation principles

Programme and timetable:

In semester 2 (2019-2020), 9 evenings from 18.00 – 21.00 hrs.

Session 1:

  • IL 18.00 – 19.15 Introduction & What is health+compexity - Y.M. Drewes (LUMC, dept. Internal medicine, section gerontology and geriatrics) and Prof.dr. J. Gussekloo (LUMC, professor primary care, the scientific substantiation of clinical practice);

  • WG 19.30 – 21.00 What is vitality.

Session 2:

  • WG 18.00 – 21.00 Ageing suits - Experience.

Session 3:

  • IL 18.00 – 19.30 Demography;

  • WG 19.45 – 21.00 What is the challenge?

Session 4:

  • IL 18.00 – 19.15 Patient centeredness;

  • WG 19.30 – 21.00 Present your challenge.

Session 5:

  • IL 18.00 – 19.15 Integrated care, innovation organization;

  • WG 19.30 – 21.00 Design a logic model.

Session 6:

  • IL 18.00 – 19.15 Introduction Dutch Health care system;

  • WG 19.30 – 21.00 Making a video (1).

Session 7:

  • WG 18.00 – 21.00 Design an innovation.

Session 8:

  • WG 18.00 – 19.15 Making a video (2);

  • WG 19.30 – 21.00 Cocreation with ouderenberaad.

Session 9:

  • WG 18.00 – 21.00 Presenting videos - students, older people and staff.

IL= interactive lecture, WG = working group.


Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). Room to be announced.

Reading list:

Will be available on Blackboard.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Lectures and workinggroups: 27 hours (9x3 hours); (attendance is mandatory)

  • Reading the literature to prepare lectures: 27 hours (9x3 hours);

  • Written report (based on format): 46 hours;

  • Making a video: 40 hours.

Assessment method:

The assessment methods will look as follows:

  • 20% active participation during the seminars and other activities;

  • 50% written report (1500 words);

  • 30% video pitch.

Students must pass all assessments to complete the course.


Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Registration process:

Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday the 4th of November up to and including Thursday the 14th of November until 23:59 hrs through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Bachelor Honours Class.


Dr. Y.M. Drewes: