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Ageing and Vitality


Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.


The organisation of our ageing society needs innovation. Given the increasing incidence of chronic diseases across the world, it has become essential to deal with complexity and to search for more effective strategies to prevent and manage diseases and their consequences. Innovations will be needed in all types of elderly care and elderly support to improve vitality of older people.

In this class, you will learn how the Dutch health care system deals with the challenges of an ageing society, by offering integrated care and developing innovations in care. Main points of interest will be how organisations deal with changes and how to involve older people in innovations.

During the course you will follow lectures about vitality, demography and the healthcare system and you will follow working groups in which you learn to analyse a problem and to design a care innovation, in cocreation with older individuals.

At the end of the course, each student has designed an innovation that contributes to the vitality of older people. The student will present this innovation in a creative video pitch and will substantiate the evidence for this innovation in a written report. This class asks for a hands-on mentality.

Course objectives:

The student is able to:

  • explain the current demographic trends in life expectancy and the consequences for the organisation of healthcare

  • to systematically analyse opportunities and challenges in healthcare settings and design innovations on the basis of this analysis

  • critically establish the value and applicability of innovations, taking the perspectives of older people into account

  • write and present coherently and convincingly, while applying modern presentation principles

Programme and timetable:

9 Thursday evenings 18.00 – 21.00 in semester 2 (February - May 2021)

4 February:
18.00 – 19.15 Introduction; ageing and health
Dr. Yvonne Drewes and prof.dr. Jacobijn Gussekloo
19.30 – 21.00 Lecture and working group: What is vitality?
Dr. Lex van Delden

11 February:
18.00 – 18.45 Interactive lecture: Demography of ageing Prof.dr. David van Bodegom
19.00 – 21.00 Working group: interview with older people about ageing and vitality Dr. Yvonne Drewes

18 February:
18.00 – 18.45 Interactive lecture: Patient centeredness
Dr. Tony Poot
19.00 – 21.00 Working group: What is the challenge? Winnie Kleijntjens MSc/dr. Yvonne Drewes

11 March:
18.00 – 18.45 Interactive lecture: Integrated care, innovation organization Dr. Nick Guldemond
19.00 – 21.00 Working group: Present your challenge Winnie Kleijntjens MSc/dr. Yvonne Drewes

18 March:
18.00 – 18.45 Working group: Introduction Dutch Health care system
Prof. Jet Bussemaker (provisional date and time)
19.00 – 20.00 Working group: Making a video (1) John O’Sullivan

25 March:
18.00 – 21.00 Working group: Discuss progress in analysis Winnie Kleijntjens MSc/dr. Yvonne Drewes

8 April:
19.00 – 21.00 Working group: Cocreation with older people
Dr. Yvonne Drewes

15 April:
18.00 – 21.00 Working group: Making a video (2)
John O’Sullivan

22 April:
18.00 – 21.00 Final session: Presenting videos to older people and staff

6 May: Send in final paper



Reading list:

Will be available on Brightspace.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

Lectures and working groups: 27 hours (9x3 hours); (attendance is mandatory);
Reading the literature to prepare lectures: 27 hours (9x3 hours);
Written report (based on format): 46 hours;
Making a video: 40 hours.

Assessment methods:

  • 20% Active participation during the seminars and other activities

  • 50% Written report

  • 30% Video pitch

Students can only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Students can register for the Brightspace module one week prior to the start of the course.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:

UPDATE 29-10
Registration will be possible from Monday 9 November 2020 up to and including Thursday 19 November 2020. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

Contact: Y.M. Drewes, LUMC, dept. Internal medicine, section gerontology and geriatrics,