The Dignity Centre – care for the old
The Dignity Centre is a national, interdisciplinary centre of excellence that unites knowledge on palliative care, dementia, acute medicine, voluntarism and culture in elderly care. We work to ensure a dignified old age for the frail old in Norway.
Our most important tools are education, academic development and dissemination of information and research results. We wish to inspire health care professionals, volunteers, patients, caregivers, politicians, decision makers and media.
The Dignity Centre started in 1998 as a project led by Stein Husebø. In 2008, the Dignity Centre became an independent foundation. Our founders are the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, GC Rieber, Helle Bennet’s Charitable Fund, and the Norwegian Red Cross. One representative from each organisation is a member of the Dignity Centre’s board. Torill Selsvold Nyborg is leader of the board. The main office of the Dignity Centre is located at the Red Cross Nursing Home in Bergen. In Oslo, we are located at Sentralen and VID University College.
The Dignity Centre is financed mainly by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, but also receives financial support from the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees.
The Dignity Centre offers three education programmes: Acute Medicine in Elderly Care, Palliative Elderly Care, and Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care. The participants come from all over Norway.
Acute Medicine in Elderly Care
The goal of Acute Medicine in Elderly Care is to increase the competence of health care providers working with acute and severely ill elderly. The education programme is developed especially for health care providers working in nursing homes and with home-dwelling elderly.
The course is offered four times a year at our main office in Bergen. Parts of the course can be presented locally in other municipalities, upon request.
Palliative Elderly Care
The goal of Palliative Elderly Care is to increase the competence of health care providers working with the frail, severely ill and dying old, and their caregivers. The education especially focuses on dementia and palliative care, including end-of-life care. The education programme is developed especially for health care providers working in nursing homes and with home-dwelling elderly.
The course is offered twice a year at our main office in Bergen. Parts of the course can be presented locally in other municipalities, upon request.
Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care
The goal of Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care is to contribute to increased competence, motivation and inspiration among those responsible for volunteers in elderly care. During the course participants learn how to mobilise, organise, follow-up, and lead volunteer efforts in elderly care.
The course is offered three times a year at our facilities in Bergen and Oslo.
Our projects aim in different ways to strengthen our education programmes. A couple of examples of current projects are the PhD-project Voluntarism in dementia care (FRIDE – Frivillighet i demensomsorgen) and Interaction between the municipality and voluntary sector – a model for good cooperation.
The Dignity Centre’s public relations work, including national and international conferences, is designed to make a fresh impact related to issues concerning the frail old. Another area of interest concerns the interaction and balance between the health care professionals’ work and efforts of voluntarism in elderly care.
A couple of our regular events are the Dignity Conference and the Caregiver’s Prize. A narrative perspective, arts and music are integrated parts of every conference – which gives a special signature to the event. The Centre also arranges debates and meetings with topics regarding the elderly, health care and voluntarism.