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Box 1 Real-life case of an INA participant in Rotterdam

From: Effects of an integrated neighborhood approach on older people’s (health-related) quality of life and well-being

Mrs. Schols, a 75-year-old woman, resides in a large apartment block in a Rotterdam suburb. She has no children and has lived alone since her husband’s passing 10 years ago. Mrs. Schols used to enjoy working as a receptionist in the banking sector, but was forced to quit due to lung disease (COPD). This disease had major impacts not only on her working life, but also on her social life. Apart from receiving personal assistance and home care, Mrs. Schols is being monitored by a kind next-door neighbor, Mr. Markus. For some time, Mr. Markus has noticed that Mrs. Schols comes outside only occasionally, leaving him worried about her physical condition. He also wonders whether Mrs. Schols might be entitled to more amenities due to her physical decline.
Through the neighborhood center, Mr. Markus meets an INA community worker. After hearing his concerns about Mrs. Schols, the community worker schedules a home visit to gain further insight into her needs. This visit soon reveals that Mrs. Schols does not have increasing physical needs, as Mr. Markus had suggested, but rather a growing social need due to her shrinking social network. She misses having someone to talk to about her disease and longs for someone who is willing to take a walk with her. Due to her fear of riding her mobility scooter, especially given that she must carry an oxygen tank, she is hesitant to go outdoors.
After the home visit, the community worker seeks someone who would be willing to support Mrs. Schols. Through an advertisement in the local newspaper, she soon finds an enthusiastic nearby neighbor. When the two meet, they immediately get along. Currently, the neighbor visits Mrs. Schols every week and walks with her or takes her to the supermarket to buy groceries. She also helps Mrs. Schols practice with her mobility scooter, enabling her to go outside by herself