The Dignity Center – care for the old

The Dignity Center is a national competence center working for vulnerable old people in the last part of their lives. We offer secondary education, competence development and conferences on health, dignity and volunteerism in elderly care.

Our target demographics are employees in the elderly care profession, vulnerable old people, volunteers and caregivers, the educational and teaching sector, and decision makers in the public and private sectors.

The Dignity Center’s main office is located at the Red Cross Nursing Home in Bergen, and have a satellite office in Oslo. The center was established in 2008 and has 16 employees. It is financed by the Norwegian government’s annual budget. The center also receives financial support from Fagforbundet – The Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees.


Odd Jordheim – General Manager

Stein Husebø – Professional Manager

Silje Eikemo, Manager Health

Eirin Hillestad, Manager Volunteerism and culture


The Dignity Centre offers 3 different courses – Volunteer Leadership in Eldery Care, End of Life Care – Dignity in Old Age and Acute Medicine in Eldery Care. The participants are from all over Norway.

Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care
The Dignity Center offers a education called Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care. During the course participants learn how to mobilize, organize, follow-up, and lead volunteer efforts in elderly care. The goal is to contribute to increased competence, motivation, and inspiration. This course offering is unique in Norway. The education was developed after The Dignity Center saw the need for improving the competence in those who were responsible for volunteers in elderly care. The Dignity Center has to date educated 300 volunteer coordinators from all over the country. The course is offered at our facilities in Oslo and Bergen.

End of Life Care – Dignity in Old Age
End of Life Care – Dignity in Old Age is an education in elderly care with a particular focus on dementia and palliative care. The target demographic is health care providers working with the elderly. To date, over 400 participants from all over Norway have taken the course. Participants commit to developing a project at their place of employment. All projects are important contributions to improve the quality, and to secure frail old a dignified old age.

Acute Medicine in Elderly Care
Acute Medicine in Elderly Care is a session-based supplementary education tailored to improve competence in health care providers in nursing homes and at-home health providers. The goal of this supplementary education is to increase the competence of health care providers working with acute, seriously ill elderly people. Participants learn to recognize signs of deterioration, to execute the right measures at the right time, to master advanced procedures, and to handle technical medical equipment. Ethical reflection is central during the entire course. The course is available at our headquarters in Bergen, and by order and agreement in other municipalities.

Research and development

At the Dignity Center we focus on research-based development. We utilize a combination of research results and clinical experience from eldery care, and apply this knowledge to our education programmes. We wish to ensure effective implementation of new knowledge into practice.

Our projects aim in different ways to strengthen our education programmes. Current projects: Change in practice, Innovating the clinical pathway for home-dwelling people with dementia and their families. A mixed-method, randomized controlled trial (LIVE@Home.Path), The Power of Imagination, The Voluntarism Book, and Voluntarism in municipalities.

Several projects are performed in cooperation with others such as the art group “ Kompani Krapp”, the Bergen Red Cross Nursing Home, the municipalities of Drammen and Fjell and The University of Bergen.

Pleace contact the leader Gro Helen Dale of Research and devolopment for more details on the projects.

Conferences and seminars

Dignity Center – Care for the Old is established with its main focus on older people in their most vulnerable stage of life. The main targets are to ensure that these people are treated with care, respect, social integration and the utmost proficiency. Our public relations work, including national and international conferences, is designed to make a fresh impact related to these issues. Another challenge is related to the interaction and balance between professional health carer’s work and voluntarily efforts for frail older people.

The Dignity Conference is realized in National editions both in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2017, and through a broad international collaboration in 2010. Each conference is a result of cooperation with central partners and founders of the center, such as Norwegian Red Cross and Fagforbundet – Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees. A special narrative perspective, arts and music is also integrated part of every conference – which gives a special double-brained signature to the event. The centre also arranges debates and meetings with topics regarding older people, health and voluntarism.