The road to vitality

31 mei 2015

Informal care: hard, arduous and challenging? Indeed, it can be all of this and informal care is often represented in this way. However, it is by no means a reflection of the experiences of countless informal carers who also enjoy caring for another person or feel proud of it. The Dutch Centre of Expertise for Informal Care initiated a joint research with informal carers and care professionals to identify how informal care can remain pleasant or become so once more. Or, to put it differently, how to keep the informal carer vital?

The road to vitality offers a creative method to reflect on informal care: using maps. Professionals can use the maps in sessions with informal carers and informal carers can use them personally at any time they like. The maps are based on four themes: body, mind, heart and soul. The booklet 'The road to vitality' offers inspiration questions for every theme and instructions to use the maps.

The maps in 'The road to vitality' constitute a key to another perception of informal care. They invite informal carers to think about questions like ‘How do I stay healthy?’ and ‘What enables me to keep going?’. Also, they inspire them to share their personal stories on vitality. In this method, the process is infinitely more important than the outcome. On the way, informal carers will gain new insights and ideas on what matters to them most and what keeps them vital, which generates energy. 

Wilco Kruijswijk (Movisie) and Mariëlle Cuijpers (Vilans)