Rozemarijn deFeijter

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Rozemarijn deFeijter, Development Manager Smart Living @ PostNL at PostNL, posted

PostNL Mailmen inform citizens about activities in the neighborhood

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Almost half of the citizens of Amsterdam is lonely. Therefore, Amsterdam has set up a network of stakeholders who want to fight loneliness. Cordaan and PostNL are part of this network. We see many activities that are already organized for people, that can help them to deal with loneliness. Cordaan, for instance, organizes daily activities for seniors. However, citizens are not always familiar with the possibilities to get help and the activities that are organized for them in their own neighborhoods. Only people who actively seek help themselves or get help via their general practitioner or family now profit from the help organized by welfare organizations.

To increase awareness about these activities and possibilities, and eventually increase participation, Cordaan and PostNL work together in a new experiment. This experiment is one of the 39 out of 116 experiments selected by the municipality to decrease loneliness in Amsterdam. Cordaan and PostNL will focus on lonely seniors. Cordaan will make a selection of addresses of possibly interested senior citizens in Banne Buiksloot in Amsterdam Noord and will inform them about the experiment by mail. A week later, the mailmen will ring the doorbell and ask questions such as: ‘Do you know about the activities organized for you in your neighborhood?’; ‘Would you like to participate in these activities?’; ‘Would you like to talk about the activities and possibilities with an employee of Cordaan?’. If the last question is answered with a ‘Yes’, an employee of Cordaan will make an appointment with the senior to determine which activities or what help would be suitable for that individual person.

PostNL investigates how it can react on a changing society by investigating new ways to leverage it’s network, with over 20.000 mailmen. This new role for the mailmen holds numerous advantages. The mailmen are well-know in the neighborhood and work for a trusted brand. Therefore, we believe people will be more inclined to answer their questions at the door, than they would be if the person at the door were a complete stranger. In addition, the mailmen are not affiliated with a healthcare or welfare organization, and can start a conversation from a more neutral perspective. Therefore, with this cooperation between Cordaan and PostNL, we hope to reach more seniors who would benefit from the activities and possibilities in the neighborhood. Eventually, we hope to decrease loneliness of senior citizens by increasing their network in the neighborhood and their participation in that network.

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Rozemarijn deFeijter, Development Manager Smart Living @ PostNL at PostNL, posted

PostNL helps elderly in a pilot to enhance their self-reliance

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VeiligheidNL, Nutricia, Philips, ONVZ and PostNL work together in a project that aims to help elderly remain living at home independently. Specifically, we want to prevent them from falling. In 2016, every five minutes a 65 + person ended up in the emergency room after a fall and every day nine people decease because of a fall. Therefore, we bundle our forces and offer a solution with project TOM, ‘Thuis Onbezorgd Mobiel’ (Carefree Mobility at Home); a package of proven interventions to support the elderly.

Doing what works
Many elderly value their freedom and would like to remain living at home independently. But not everyone has relatives who can give informal care and the offer of support programs is fragmented. With project TOM, we offer a complete support package with measures that are proven to be effective. There will also be cooperation with trusted local professionals, such as the personal physiotherapist and dietitian.
The participants will not only follow a mobility program, but will also get personal dietary advice and a motion monitor, a device that tracks and analyzes movements. These interventions ensure that preventive measures can be taken if necessary. To reduce the risk of falling, the participants work twice a week on muscle strength, balance and coordination with a physical therapist and receive additional information. This intervention, by VeiligheidNL, is called ‘InBalans’ (in balance). Independent research shows that participants who follow this program are 61% less likely to fall.
Diet is also important when it comes to fall prevention. Especially for vulnerable elderly, it’s challenging to take in all the necessary nutrients on a daily basis, which worsens their overall condition. Therefore, all participants are screened for malnutrition and there’s a personal dietary advice for those who need it.

Personal attention
Personal attention is a key element in project TOM. Because many elderly who live at home independently feel lonely or can use some extra help, there are trained elderly advisors who will visit them and ONVZ Care Consultants of who will regularly call the elderly to hear how they are doing. They offer individual care and participants can contact them if they have any questions.
There’s also a new role for the mailman of PostNL. Within Project TOM, our mailman has contact with the senior and offers support in using the motion monitor.

Start project
Best is the first region where project TOM starts with a pilot. In the course of 2017, spread over The Netherlands, project TOM will start in three other test regions. Check out www.projecttom.nl for more information.
* Source: fact sheet: 65 years and older Fall, October, 2016 * VeiligheidNL
** source: www.stuurgroepondervoeding.nl
* * * source: Effects of exercise programs of falls and mobility in frail and pre-frail older adults: a multicenter randomized controlled trial, Faber 2006

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