Today I am visiting Gerdine Kok at her workplace in the nursing home Open Vensters in the Dutch province of Utrecht. Gerdine is an individual healthcare worker at a small-scale living department in a nursing home, where people with a form of dementia live. She tells me why True-Light daylight lamps offer an ideal solution for the residents.

"Goodmorning ladies!" Gerdine says as we walk together to the dining room of the nursing home, Gerdine greets the residents warmly. “I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in healthcare,” she says. “My older sister worked in healthcare and I always listened to her stories with admiration. In my small-scale care department of Open Vensters, I guide and care for people with dementia, together with a team of care professionals. Dementia causes a person to deteriorate physically and mentally, making daily needs and actions difficult. For example, restlessness can arise because someone wants to go home, but does not know where his or her coat is. Our clients therefore depend on professional care and guidance.”

Really mean something to someone
“What I find valuable about my work is that I can really mean something to someone. For example, a resident thinks I am her niece and I go along with this. This family feeling gives her a sense of confidence, security and peace and that is my goal. When we chat, our conversation is not really about anything, but you still feel that our bond is very strong. I try to provide peace, safety, trust and I get a lot of love from the residents in return.”

Improve well-being of all residents
“I used to find physical care and nursing particularly interesting. Now that I have been working in healthcare for a longer time, I have found out that someone's well-being might be even more important. Due to a changing society, I also see a change in healthcare. There is much more attention for the well-being of clients and that is a very positive development. In the past, for example, a pill was often given against restlessness. But nowadays we first look at what someone really needs and how the environment can influence the well-being of the resident. The living rooms of Open Vensters face north, so there is little sunlight. The team noticed that residents were inactive during the day and were often awake at night. When a resident became gloomy and depressed, we started looking for a solution to improve the mood and well-being of all residents.”

Positive change through daylight lamps
“We filled the living room with daylight LED lamps from True-Light and we immediately noticed a striking difference; previously, a resident who woke up around four o’clock in the morning, continued to walk around restlessly. She realized it was early, but she did not have the peace to lie down again. The daylight lamps enhance the 'day feeling', so now she sleeps longer and wakes up less early. In addition, she now sits down quietly when she (often first) enters the living room. She knows that it is day or that the day is starting. As the evening progresses, we dim the lights. In this way we imitate a 'real' day and create rhythm. My colleagues and I are also very happy with the daylight lamps. We notice that we are much more active and feel better now that we work under good lighting and I no longer suffer from burning eyes after work. When I switch on the lamps in the morning, it is immediately light and that is a good start to a pleasant day!”

Future plan
When Gerdine has shown me the beautifully lit living room, I ask her about her plan for the future, to which she replies: “Care will continue to change and improve, but personal care will always exist. As long as I can do something for the residents, I will continue to work in care. Because that is what I find most fun to do.”

The lamps in the picture: Baron smart LED 38 watt & 36 watt LED panel 60x60cm

Text: Elise Spiering