Professor Anne Margriet Pot (the Netherlands) visits North-West University
Professor Anne Margriet Pot (left) with Professor Linda du Plessis, Vice Principal and Deputy-Vice Chancellor: NWU at the Prestige Lecture.
Jaco Hoffman convened an afternoon of round table discussions on “Dementia and Care” at the NWU campus, in November. The event coincided with the visit of Professor Anne Margriet Pot from the Netherlands, who participated in the discussions and gave a separate Prestige Public Lecture on “Care and support for people with dementia and their carers: critical insights from the Global North: Prospects for (South) Africa.”
Anne Margriet Pot is Strategic Advisor Care for Older People at the Health Care Inspectorate, Ministry of Health, The Netherlands, and Professor of Geropsychology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She holds an Honorary Professorship at the School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia and an Extraordinary Professorship at Optentia, North-West University, South Africa. From 2014 until 2018, she was based in Geneva at the World Health Organisation (WHO), where she oversaw WHO’s work on the establishment of sustainable and equitable Long-term Care (LTC) systems worldwide. Pot has made a significant contribution to the World Report and Global Strategy on Aging and Health, the related Global Strategy and Action Plan, and its implementation.
In her prestige lecture, Anne Margriet Pot presented insights on establishing LTC systems for people with dementia and their carers. In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on ageing and health, stating that every country needs to have an LTC care system. Such a system can enable people with a decline in physical and/or mental capacity to continue to live a life of meaning and with dignity. However, challenges to establishing such systems in a sustainable and equitable way are immense, both in the Global South and in the Global North. Particular challenges for people with dementia, such as stigma and a lack of awareness, a lack of diagnosis, training and support, fragmentation in care, medicalisation of the condition and hospitalisation, were discussed. Professor Pot suggested that the Healthy Ageing model of the World Health Organization be drawn upon to reflect on these challenges and to evaluate the approaches through which long-term care has been operationalised in the Global North over the past decades, with The Netherlands as a case in point.