Helping those impacted by the corona crisis in the Netherlands

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Aug 28, 2020
By the Philips Foundation team
Philips Foundation and Philips volunteers reach out to vulnerable groups impacted by the pandemic in the Netherlands. One hundred tablets and five care robots have been donated to combat loneliness among the elderly, and a substantial financial contribution has been made to ZWiC, in support of caregivers or their next of kin when they enter intensive care or pass away in the line of duty.

The COVID-19 crisis has affected many people in Dutch society. At the same time, initiatives to help those impacted – by providing extra resources or extra help – have emerged everywhere. The blow of the crisis was quickly followed by a helping hand.

 

At Brainport Eindhoven, a technology region where companies, governments and educational institutions are working together for a better future, the Philips Foundation is supporting four projects that mitigate the harmful effects of the COVID-19 crisis in a sustainable way for those who need it most.

 

“Our starting point is that we help where the need is greatest: extra support for care workers, and the vulnerable groups in our society, especially the elderly,” says Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation. “Reason enough to support these four projects in the Eindhoven region with extra resources and helping hands.”

 

Day program for residents

 

Thanks to this support, care group Archipelago Zorggroep can organize an extra day program for 1200 elderly residents. This is especially necessary in the pandemic, because the regular day program has stopped, and the residents receive visitors less frequently than usual. Now, every week a special activity takes place at all 10 locations – from bingo to music and dance, from sports and exercise to gardening.

 

Keeping in touch with the outside world

 

For many residents of Mental Health Care Eindhoven (GGzE), the measures to contain the pandemic make it more difficult to stay in contact with the outside world.

 

That is why Philips Foundation has donated 100 tablets to the care facility, making it easier for the 900-plus residents to keep in touch with friends, family and, if necessary, care professionals via video calls. With these tablets, people are less likely to feel lonely in this already stressful period, which can also be beneficial for their recovery.

 

A chat with care robot SARA to prevent loneliness

 

Vitalis ZorgGroep, which also looks after the elderly, will have five new, unexpected residents. Care robots by the name SARA will be walking in and around the elderly care facility. Not to administer medication or to wash the residents, but above all, to provide a sweet moment of distraction, which is very welcome during lonely periods.

The robot tells stories and makes music. Residents are also able to do movement exercises under the guidance of SARA. The first pilot with SARA yielded positive results: residents experience the robot as a very welcome distraction and a buddy to talk to.

 

Philips volunteers roll up their sleeves

 

All these projects receive extra support from Philips volunteers, who will supervise the projects at Archipel, GGzE and Vitalis. “We are making the biggest impact in the region with a combination of extra resources and helping hands,” said Margot Cooijmans. Samen voor Eindhoven and Philips coordinate the deployment of the volunteer work.

 

A safety net for caregivers

 

In addition, the Philips Foundation has made a significant financial contribution to the Stichting Zorg na Werk in Coronazorg (ZWiC), an initiative in the Netherlands for care providers affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

 

ZWiC offers financial support to caregivers, such as district nurses, youth care workers and paramedics, or their next of kin when they enter intensive care or pass away in the line of duty.

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