Een wereld te winnen

My international search for a different view of dementia

24-year-old healthcare innovator Teun Toebes has a mission: to improve the quality of life of people with dementia. He has been living in the closed ward of a nursing home for years when he decides to take this mission to a higher level. During a trip around the world, he and his good friend and filmmaker Jonathan de Jong investigate how dementia is dealt with in other countries and what we can learn from each other to make the future more beautiful and inclusive.

The Housemates

Everything One Young Student Learnt about Love, Care and Dementia from Living in a Nursing Home

Twenty-one-year-old nursing student Teun Toebes decided to move into a nursing home and experience the daily life of older residents, not as a nurse or caregiver – but as a housemate. The experience would change his life and the lives of his new friends.

He initiated Friday drinks, outings and camping evenings, and reintroduced pleasure in the little things in life: a laugh, a dance, a cup of good coffee, a chance to sit in the sun. But as he became more and more embedded in the community, Teun became increasingly aware of how society and the healthcare system belittles the elderly and in particular people with dementia and he resolved to do something about it.

The Housemates, a number 1 bestseller in the Netherlands, is Teun Toebes’ story about his years as a housemate, the friends who changed him and a cry from the heart for change in the way we care for the elderly.


What I learn from my housemates with dementia

At the age of 21, Teun Toebes made the bold choice to live in a nursing home, to commit himself to healthcare and a society in which people with dementia remain stimulated in their daily lives. In Nursing Home he describes life in the closed ward in a disarming way and the moving conversations that result in friendships. We subject people with dementia to exclusion, loss of identity and dominance of existing patterns, but life in the nursing home is a full-fledged part of society, where Teun experiences the core of existence. NursingThuis is a combination of cheerfulness, imagination and sincere activism – straight from the heart.

Read the first chapter!
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