HCR.20.019 – RECOURSE, Resilience of older adults in home and care settings

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 076 What are the consequences of chronic disorders, stress, and disabilities and what is the best way to deal with them?

Resilience is a fast developing concept in fundamental science, spanning different disciplines and vantage points: from ecology to medicine and from psychology to gerontology. The developments in these fields related to resilience furnish new understanding of the functioning of complex ‘systems’ and helps scientists predict the capacity of a system to sustain stresses and challenges. This knowledge can be transferred to real-world practical questions like ‘can a patient sustain intensive rehabilitative care or not?’, or ‘what assets and resources can help older adults deal with chronic conditions?’. In this project, we aim to transfer this concept to various complex systems that all have to do with one central goal: improving positive health of vulnerable older adults, without making care for older adults more expensive. We will combine fundamental scientific approaches to investigating resilience with stakeholder’s and end-users viewpoints of what resilience should be and apply these to investigate the following complex systems: 1] the individual older adult; 2] mezzo-level care systems involving various players, such as the municipality, local hospitals, social care, and long-term care, all catering to the needs of local vulnerable older adults; and 3] the macro-level system of elderly care, which is governed by national laws, financial responsibilities, care purchasers, care providers and intermediaries. These complex systems can be conceptualized as concentric circles, with the individual older adult at the center, being influenced by mezzo-level systems of care, being influenced by the macro-level care system. The question is how we can measure and improve the resilience of each of these levels, so that they become better aligned. We will apply resilience-informed interventions and care paradigms with the ultimate aim of helping vulnerable older adults deal with stress, chronic conditions and disabilities and improving their quality of life, societal participation, and their life’s meaning.


acute care, long-term care, multimorbidity, older adults, quality of life, resilience


Organisation Amsterdam UMC (VUMC)
Name Prof.dr. M. (Martijn) Huisman
E-mail ma.huisman@amsterdamumc.nl
Website https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martijn_Huisman