According to the World Health Organization (WHO), The Netherlands’ ‘Tante Cor’ (‘Aunt Cor)’, real name Cornelia Ras from Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, is said to be the oldest Corona patient in the world to have been cured of Covid-19. Although the actual age of a number of elderly patients has not been determined, chances are that Tante Cor is the oldest, with a 104-year-old man from Oregon, Unites States coming in second place.
Tante Cor contracted the virus during a church service in her nursing home, now known hotbeds of contamination in many parts of the world. Forty other people were contaminated as well, ten of which have died, sadly not a unique occurrence.
A few other hundred-year-olds in The Netherlands have also recovered: a 101-year-old woman from Capelle aan den IJssel, South Holland as well as a 103-year-old man from Steenbergen, Noord-Brabant.
Chef Jan Smink of top Dutch restaurant De Librije in Zwolle, Overijssel talks about the possibilities of making 3D printed dishes in the video below, where he shows us a creation made from celeriac and hazelnut paste with mushrooms, fermented garlic and more celeriac.
Smink segues into explaining that in Dutch retirement homes where 8% of the elderly have problems swallowing food, 3D printing could be useful for making their lives easier. It means they wouldn’t have to have their food blended to be eaten through a straw, which takes away from the social aspect of eating. Imagine making things like white asparagus puree, printing it out and eating with everyone else. That can be done since a 3D printer can make one-off orders, something a factory cannot easily do.
Of course, with a restaurant like Michelin-starred De Librije, not everything should be printed out, but it’s nice to hear from a chef that even people who don’t frequent his establishment could benefit from 3D printing.
Delft University of Technology related designer Heike Vallery together with Dutch startup WOLK have designed an airbag for falling elderly. As they fall a cushion fastened to their hips pops upon and softens the blow, reducing the chance of hip injuries.
Vallery and WOLK studied the fall algorithm that anticipates instability so that their airbag deploys on time. They claim that the airbag is comfortable to wear under most clothing and the cushions can deploy from the left, the right and the rear, as seen in this very short video. They are still at the prototype stage, but by 2017 they’ll have a working model.
World War II grenades pop up on the beach, at flea markets and even in potatoes here in the Netherlands, but this time a grenade was in fact sitting in an old man’s cupboard with its pin out.
A resident of an old folks’ home in Amsterdam East has had a live grenade for years that everybody thought was a fake. Sadly, the man recently passed and when his belongings were collected, the people that found the grenade among his model boats and books had it checked out by the police.
The staff of the home just assumed it was a fake, but once the police checked it out, they realised it was in a fact a live grenade. The bomb squad came and picked it up and had it detonated. All we know is that it was an English grenade that finally came out of the closet, although thankfully not with a bang.
Mover Donny Zwennes from The Hague offers a very special moving service to the elderly with dementia: he makes sure their new surroundings are exactly the same as they were in their home. Some of his clients have no idea that they’ve moved, and that’s exactly what Zwennes wants to offer. He calls it ‘duplicating’.
Zwennes takes pictures and notes all the things that need to be moved and where they were. Once he gets to the nursing home, he ignores the best place to put people’s belongings and puts things back exactly as they were, which is excellent for dementia sufferers. He also listens to their stories about that one lamp and that painting above the bed, allowing him to know what objects clients are most attached to.
According to the AD newspaper, the country’s first Alzheimer’s café was opened in The Hague, a place where Zwennes’ father handled the sound installation. It is also where he learnt about the specific problems of dementia sufferers and their families. Zwennes quickly realised that moving the elderly with dementia was a specific problem as well as a niche market. To this day, he’s the only mover in the country that offers such a personalised service.
The Vigour cardigan is a collaboration between Pauline van Dongen, the TextielMuseum in Tillburg, and fellow PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology, Martijn ten Bhömer. Van Dongen is also known for her long-lasting bioluminescent lamp.
Vigour has integrated stretch sensors that monitor upper body movement. The garment enables geriatric patients, physiotherapists and family to gain more insight into the exercises and progress of a patient’s rehabilitation. The sensors collect data that is then sent to an application installed on a tablet, so it can be analysed to help provide feedback from professionals.
The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) has developed a smart electric bicycle prototype to help the elderly avoid causing accidents when riding their bikes. The new bicycle features a forward-looking radar mounted under the handlebars and a camera in the rear mudguard.
“The forward and rearward detection devices on the test bike are linked through an onboard computer with a vibrating warning system installed in the bicycle’s saddle and handlebars to alert cyclists to impending danger. The saddle vibrates when other cyclists approach from behind, while the handlebars do the same when obstacles appear ahead.”
Available in two years, the bike isn’t cheap at a price of between 1,700 euro and 3,200 euro and currently weighs 25 kilos. The smart bike sounds interesting, but it is ridiculously expensive and too heavy. And if it is to be a fancy bike, it will get stolen regularly in the big cities. Oddly enough, the Dutch media hasn’t been talking about it, which leads us to believe the smart bike is not being taking too seriously or it is being ignored.
The elderly have accidents on bike paths because they get startled. Let’s get rid of scooters, racing cyclists and morons on their mobile who startle everyone and learn to communicate when we pass an elderly person so they don’t have accidents as a result of being startled.
Two artists from Eindhoven, photographer Nick Bookelaar and designer Yoni Lefévre, teamed up to create Grey Power, a photo series in which grandparents act out scenes thought up by their grandchildren.
The children made drawings of their grandparents going about their daily activities. Props and outfits from the drawings were then transplanted to real life and used for a photographic portrait of the grandparents. Lefévre explains that modern society considers old people to be sidelined, but “children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add colour to their lives”.
A Petapixel commenter pointed out that Korean photographer Yendoo Jung had a similar project called Wonderland five years ago, although Jung’s intention seems to be almost the opposite of that of the two Dutch artists. Instead of viewing reality from a different perspective his aim seems to be to recreate fantasy worlds.
A study commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment revealed that accidents with mobility scooters involve tipping in 70% of cases.
Plus Online wrote yesterday that 20% of these falls was due to inclines, bumps in the road and the likes, while 14% was due to driver error and 7% because the driver took a turn.
The cause of accidents with mobility scooters has become more relevant as the use of mobility scooters in the Netherlands has increased from 150,000 in 2006 to 250,000 in 2012.
The union for the elderly, ANBO, told Telegraaf yesterday that municipalities should provide training to new users of mobility scooters. Project leader Liesbeth Boerwinkel told the paper that matters such as braking and accelerating are confusing: “You need to squeeze the handle to accelerate, but people are used to bicycles with hand brakes. That is one source of problems.”
Both ANBO and traffic safety organisation Veilig Verkeer Nederland have their doubts about making training mandatory. A spokesperson for VVN points out that enforcing training “would be a reason for many people to not to use a mobility scooter in the first place. That would limit their freedom whereas we want to keep people mobile for as long as possible.”
The city of Purmerend recently offered a mobility scooter course to 450 people, Dichtbij writes. One third of them took the city up on its offer. During a two-hour workshop participants had to drive over an obstacle course that contained bumpy surfaces and sharp turns and where they had to practice stopping on an incline and parking.
The workshop was provided by scooter seller Harting-Bank who are in favour of making training mandatory—surprise, surprise!
I learnt somewhere during my university years that children are seen as a generic group of humans. Then boys and girls and men and women are defined separately because they are sexually active. Eventually when women become infertile (they are the benchmark), both men and women are referred to as the elderly, going back to being a generic group of humans.
This set of photographs of mainly elderly people seems to back up my story. Dutch photographer George Maas took pictures of couples, men and women who are dressed almost alike. The last five years he managed to photograph 56 couples of all kinds.
I wonder if elderly gays and lesbians are inclined to follow suit (ha, pun).