We are 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.

“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life. …”
Cicely Saunders


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. Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen is chair of the board. The main office of the Dignity Centre is located on the Healthcare Campus Haraldsplass and in close vicinity to the Alrek Health cluster in Bergen. In Oslo, we are located at  SoCentral.

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.

Contact

Silje B. Eikemo – General Manager
se@verdighetsenteret.no

Sebastian von Hofacker – Academic / content Manager
svh@verdighetsenteret.no

Aina Kolle – Manager Health and Care
ak@verdighetsenteret.no

Marion Rodgers Løseth – Manager Volunteerism and Culture
mrl@verdighetsenteret.no

Education

The Dignity Centre offers four education programmes: Acute Medicine in Elderly Care, Palliative Elderly Care, Communication Skills Training for Physicians and Volunteer Leadership in Elderly Care. The participants come from the whole of 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 at least four times a year in a digital format, due to the current pandemic. Parts of the course can be held as webinar or locally in attendance 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 at least four times a year in a digital format, due to the current pandemia. Parts of the course can be held as webinar or locally in attendance upon request.

Communication - Skills Training for Physicians

The goal of the Communication - Skills Training for physicians is to increase the doctor´s ability to communicate effectively with the seriously ill or frail patient and the caregiver while balancing honesty with empathy. The course follows the VitalTalk methodology and is offered 3-4 times a year in attendance in cooperation with Ahus University Hospital, Olso.


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 in a digital format, due to the current pandemic.

Projects

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.

Events

The Dignity Centre’s public relations work, 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 volunteerism in elderly care.

A couple of our regular events are the biannual 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 on topics regarding the elderly, health care and voluntarism.