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Care Farming for People with Dementia; What Can Healthcare Leaders Learn from This Innovative Care Concept?

Authors de Bruin SR, Pedersen I, Eriksen S, Hassink J, Vaandrager L, Patil GG

Received 18 December 2019

Accepted for publication 27 February 2020

Published 10 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 11—18


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman

Simone R de Bruin,1,2 Ingeborg Pedersen,3 Siren Eriksen,4 Jan Hassink,5 Lenneke Vaandrager,2 Grete Grindal Patil3

1National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands; 2Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Health and Society, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 3Faculty of Landscape and Society, Department of Public Health Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, Norway; 4Faculty of Health Sciences, Norwegian Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway; VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway; 5Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Agrosystems Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Correspondence: Simone R de Bruin Email

Abstract: There is growing recognition that traditional dementia care models fall short for people with dementia and their family caregivers. This has led to a call for new dementia care approaches. In response to this call, innovations in long-term dementia care are taking place both in the community and in residential care. One of these innovations is the care concept called “care farming.” Care farms are farms that combine agricultural activities with care and support services for a variety of client groups, including people with dementia. Although the concept is being implemented in an increasing number of countries, the Netherlands and Norway are still front-runners in providing and researching this innovative dementia care approach. Over the last couple of years, several research projects have been carried out in these countries addressing a wide range of issues related to dementia care provision at care farms and using a wide range of research methods. This paper synthesizes the knowledge that has been generated in these research projects. By sharing the knowledge obtained in the Netherlands and Norway, we hope to inspire leaders in healthcare undertaking similar efforts to innovate care for the increasing number of people with dementia. By providing starting-points for future research, we additionally hope to contribute to a research agenda to further advance the field.

Keywords: care farms, dementia care, green care, innovation, person-centered care

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