We asked: what if, in age care, the system was based on skills, care and empathy, rather than focusing primarily on illness and medical needs? Under our Polder Model, MiCare’s personal care workers and enrolled nurses care for our Elders, empowering the elderly to consider their wellness and what they can still do. Of course, registered nurses are available for medical needs, as required. Our focus is on what our Elders can do, not on what they have difficulty doing.
The Polder Model is based on ‘the politics of wet feet’, back in the 17th century, when the various water boards of the Netherlands needed to work together to deal with floods. (A ‘polder’ is the section of land developed after dikes have been built around a marsh or lake and the water has been pumped out – traditionally by windmills, but more recently motorised pumps.)
We have used it to create a better way of caring for our Elders, through consultation, respect and creativity. As the popular Dutch saying goes: ‘God created the world but the Dutch created Holland.’