Pictures, anxiety and Gouda

I have been getting worried about how I will describe all that I have seen and done during the past couple of days in Gouda – departing from my usual style, I am going to use my preferred means of communication… pictures –

Note – anyone visiting or travelling here from the UK, the pronunciation…

Gouda – the ‘G’ is said as ‘Ch’ as in loch, and the ‘ou’ like the ‘ow’ of cow, which seem to be a favourite Dutch animal; and, the ‘da’ as in ‘da’ like da-da. There you go.

My visit to the Buurtzorg office involved coffee and Stroopwaffel’s – special Dutch round with triangles caramel wafers; leaving, Lies the nurse pointed-out the rollator-loop race the have been running; a race for people with walking aids. Can we please have a go in the UK – should be amazing.


After the office we went to visit R. a woman living with dementia in Nootdorp – Lies her Buurtzorg nurse emphasised the importance of date and time to support orientation for her patients.


R. beside her very steep stairs. These likely no longer meet EU or for that matter any regulations, they are so potentially precarious. The likely keep you fit however – that and the cycling.

R. had to give-up cycling when she became lost one day travelling to her daughters. I am gutted that I live in a society that doesn’t have bikes as the dominant mode of transport…


A reminder for R. from her daughter not to give away money to people coming round the houses.


Amusing dog at the day-care centre.


The house of Rie – a day-care facility for older, younger and generally people seeking company; cooking, baking and handicrafts combined with chat and peer support.


My visit to the green dementia day-care farm; this was a highlight of my trip. The former working farm now provides day-care facilities for people living with dementia. Goats, pigs and chickens, an open fire and cooked food. This is what occupational therapy was meant to be. Why couldn’t we one day have green hospital farms? Bringing together environment, history, culture, caring and meaning.


New concept for me… Shower beds


Windmill from the train


Charlotte the Cliniclown talking about person-centred care, laughter and making life better for sick kids.


It takes a Cliniclown to demonstrate the absurdist complexity of even a child’s erratic journey through the health system.


Ik do mee – This is me comes to Holland!


Night canal


Facilities for patients to lock their items with key-codes; a little like a hotel… who would have thought – in a hospital?! Just because you are a patient doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to privacy.


Lots of glass and light on the wards –


The special care baby unit – babies are monitored by TV. Parents are able to distribute a code so that relatives can tune-in at home and see the little babies.


I have a problem with the over-use of ‘Geriatric’ in Holland – the specialism hasn’t been around as long as in the UK and perhaps this is just a time thing. I so much prefer the relative term, ‘Older People,’ just as we have ‘Younger People’. Perhaps this just reflects my own biases.

The 15-bed ward for older people is one of the gems in the crown of their hospital, with a day living and dining area all the staff on Mallard would kill to have – light, space, a hob top and even a cooker… One day Sonja –


More of the sitting area with Cynthia demonstrating some of the patient handiwork.


I don’t know if Holland discovered the healing benefits of china cups before us – I was heartened to see these.


Old-time radio


Wash-board and beautiful view






Visitors, patients and staff in Gouda have access to free coffee – yes; the hospital sees the value in providing free facilities. Nothing is free – the cost to the staff, visitors and patients is wellbeing.


The meditation, quiet room for visitors, patients and staff – I spent a few hours here on Wednesday.


Orange bike



Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

One thought on “Pictures, anxiety and Gouda

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