Apathy in persons living in nursing homes: moving forward. Consequences, identification and management

Tuesday 26 March 2024, 12:30 pm
PhD student
drs. J.M.H. Nijsten
prof. dr. D.L. Gerritsen, prof. dr. R.T.C.M. Koopmans, prof. dr. M. Smalbrugge
dr. R. Leontjevas

About half of nursing home residents in the Netherlands have apathy, which manifests itself in reduced initiative, interest and emotions. Unfortunately, little attention is paid to apathy and it’s rarely treated specifically. This dissertation shows that apathy has negative consequences for quality of life and the risk of death. Recognizing and dealing with apathy is difficult for loved ones and caregivers. 'Shared Action for Breaking trhough Apathy' (SABA) consists of materials and a practical working method. These can help relatives and care workers to notice, investigate and interrupt apathy in people with dementia in a nursing home.  By recognizing and interrupting apathy specifically, we can contribute to the quality of life of someone who lives in a nursing home. These 'moments of success' have a stimulating effect on both relatives and care workers, and together they can take steps to improve the care for people with apathy in the nursing home.

Hanneke Nijsten (1972) obtained her master's degree in psychology at Radboud University in 1996. Since her training as a specialist in Clinical Neuropsychology (2018), she has combined her PhD research at the UKON and Department of Primary and Community care of the Radboudumc with work as a clinical neuropsychologist at care group Archipel.