Quality as the basis for excellence
The philosophy of Humanitas describes the deeper level of the reason we are unique. It relates to our core values, beliefs and norms and values as an elderly care organisation and community. We began, and begin every development with asking ourselves the following question: how can we achieve the best possible quality in our living environment, for the residents? This is a very elaborative question. It is one that you could answer in many different w ays, depending on the relevant factors of the subject. Quality is making sure the residents van live a comfortable and joyful life, in a surprisingly normal way.
We have reached a situation where the consistent high quality we offer is perceived as the new standard. It became the norm (normal). The normal situation became and will always be one of very high quality. We defined 6 cornerstones for our quality delivery promise: which is expected and desired by our residents:
- A recognisable living environment We really know our residents, acknowledge all that makes them a unique individual, this enables our residents to be their true selves and feel comfortable.
- Living at Humanitas feels authentic and as a life that you design and influence yourself.
- We go out of our way to adapt the complete living environment (including healthcare and well-being) to the resident’s habits, desires and preferences.
- The residents are assisted by the same employees wherever possible.These become friends they know and recognise and will colour their lives, just as their loved ones. Naturally, they recognise a clean and well-kept living environment as well.
It is no more than normal that you can trust us fully
We do as we say; meeting appointments is nothing more than normal to us. We persist and finish what we start. But doing as we say would not make the communication complete if we didn’t also say what we do. Verbally to the residents, but also in written form, to loved ones, colleagues and other players in the industry. Our employees are all well trained and very capable of doing their jobs. Residents can trust that they will receive the very best care, safe living and attention to well-being in a rich living environment. To guarantee this safety, we follow protocols and procedures in our work. Employees are alert, notice health risks and react
fast and accordingly.
Doing things together is normal in our living environment
Quality starts at the conversation with the resident, in which we discover the unique personality and find out how we can offer a living environment that Is especially fitted to them. Only a complete information supply enables us to deliver a truly individualised experience. We need information from the loved ones of the resident (close friends or family),volunteers and employees. Their involvement is more than just being there and participating, sometimes; it is also co-directing the healthcare and support of the residents. We do not dictate this, but appoint roles and responsibilities together. To do this, it is vital that we first have our own roles clear, collaborate effectively and communicate well with each other.
Realism helps to make life at Humanitas normal
Getting older may also be challenging sometimes, accepting this is very important to stay realistic. The challenges that our residents have to face sometimes really touch us. Unfortunately, we cannot solve all difficulties; this is a fact we have to accept. This can also be big relief for our employees, and the residents. All emotions are welcome. Everyone can be his or her true self, at all times. The same goes for risks, which are a part of life, also the life in Humanitas. Having pleasure in life is very important. Every time we discuss the situation with the residents and their loved ones, we compare the risks and pleasure it brings and we make a balanced decision.
Surprising our residents by persuading them
We respect the privacy and choices of all of our residents; they and their family want to decide what they want and don’t want, themselves. We believe that activating the residents to use their interpersonal and social skills as long as they are able to do so is crucial. We do not try to convince them, we aim to persuade them. We attempt to boost the curiosity of our residents and invite them to have social contact, by creating an inviting and sociable atmosphere where they can have meaningful experiences together.
The unexpected brings much pleasure
A good basis in our high quality that became the standard in our house provides the residents with an excellent “normal” situation. But sometimes we want to shake things up and surprise the residents by offering them even more or something that will surprise them. We value realising the desires of the residents and their loved ones very much. We have learned that our residents really like to be surprised from time to time. An important part of the concept is to offer the “abnormal”, because this provokes conversations and memories amongst the residents, and will bring sparkles to each day.
Ms. Gea Sijpkes MBA
Gea Sijpkes is the General Manager at Stichting Woon- en Zorgcentrum Humanitas Deventer, and was appointed over 6 years ago. She has developed the elderly care organisation into a true inclusive community as a warm and welcoming centre point in the neighbourhood. According to Ms. Sijpkes, success is inspired by the leader, and put into practice by the staff members. First, she implemented the core values: love, together, positive. These are way more than just words: they define the way the organisation and their employees facilitate the residents with a rich living environment. The most innovative approach she put into practice is about building bridges and breaking down walls. This is vital in creating an inclusive community where no one is left out. She sees unique qualities in everyone, which can contribute to the community that Humanitas Deventer is. She invited students to take residency in the elderly home.
Their vibrant lives and life energy really colour the lives of the residents, it brings the outside world in and the inside world out. It helps to reflect the wide array of colours and diversity that define the society of nowadays.
After the success of the in-house students (which has grown to a total number of 6), she created the social housing project Adelbold. This project offers the warmth and facilities of Humanitas to youngsters with a slight mental disability. In return they give the qualities they have (e.g. friendliness and helpfulness) to our residents. This occurs in a safe learning environment where they work and develop crucial life skills that prepare and strengthen them to take part in today’s complex society. Cultural experiences bring connection through shared memories and meaningful experience-based participation. The residents and everyone from the neighbourhood are more than welcome to enjoy our art- and cultural program Artius. Apart from this strong inclusive community Ms. Sijpkes has created, she also managed to make and keep the organisation financially healthy.
“The creation and development of a truly resident-oriented elderly care home is a continuous process: it is never finished. We always put the residents in the first place; they decide what happens in their living environment. We see ourselves as the facilitator of a rich environment where the residents can experience the freedom to live the life they want to live. Co-creation with our residents is our long-term key to success.”