28 November 2019

Aging Centres Need to Get Even Closer to Practice


Representatives from 19 municipalities attended a workshop on 21 November 2019 on the rehabilitation of the elderly. The purpose was to identify the areas where vocational professionals at the rehabilitation centres lack knowledge, and how researchers can best support their needs. The workshop took place under the auspices of the Center for Healthy Aging and the newly opened Copenhagen Center for Clinical Age Research CopenAge.


There was great interest in the municipalities east of the Great Belt in attending a workshop on rehabilitation of the elderly. On 21 November, 40 physiotherapists and occupational therapists from municipal rehabilitation centres stopped by the University of Copenhagen.

Behind the day were two ageing centres, the Center for Healthy Aging and the new Copenhagen Center for Clinical Age Research, CopenAge. The workshop was organised by Flemming Dela from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Charlotte Suetta from Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg Hospital and Herlev-Gentofte Hospital.

Reduce the Gap Between Practice and Research

‘We want to find out what kind of knowledge vocational professionals in practice are looking for so we can target both our research and the courses offered according to their needs. It was clear on the day that sometimes there is a gap between research and practice, and that gab we would like to reduce’, says Flemming Dela.

The participants were delighted with the initiative.

 ‘I signed up for the workshop to get the latest knowledge within rehabilitation and at the same time share knowledge with colleagues from other municipalities. We are receiving more and more elderly people for rehabilitation who are worse off than what we have otherwise seen. I am really pleased that the researchers show such great interest in practice and would like to take our needs into account. If, from the beginning of a collaboration between researchers and vocational professionals, you have your eye on implementation, the results will ultimately benefit the citizens to the maximum extent’, says physiotherapist and team coordinator Mette Møller from the Municipality of Vordingborg.


More Data on What Works

Occupational therapist and vocationally responsible Mette Hedeboe from Rødovre Municipality agrees. She also says: ‘We have many older citizens, whom we see again and again for rehabilitation. If we can get data on what it takes to avoid that, we have come a long way. We need to find out which of our efforts have the greatest possible and lasting impact. Are there, for example, new ways of rehabilitation that can impact the number of repeat referrals? We hope that in the long term we can ensure that more elderly people become more self-reliant. It will benefit both the individual and the municipality’, she says.

The workshop is the first in a series of meetings with municipal rehabilitation centres. The researchers want to build a network for vocational professionals from all municipal rehabilitation centres in Zealand, and the workshop was the first step on the way.