Adoptionproject: young adopts old (Netherlands)

Contact details

Name of organisation/individual

Alzheimer Centre Limburg: Dr. Niels Janssen, Dr. Fania Dassen, Prof. dr. Marjolein de Vugt, and Roos Roberts; Alzheimer Nederland


Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER Maastricht, the Netherlands






The Adoptionproject: young adopts old, is a Dutch intergenerational initiative aimed at connecting children around 10-12 years old from a primary school with people with dementia living in nursing homes.

The core objectives of this initiative are:
1. To overcome the stigma of dementia
2. To teach children about the lived experience of people with dementia
3. To improve the wellbeing of people with dementia

We facilitate a sustainable connection between a primary school and a (nearby) nursing home. Children first receive a guest lecture from a trained volunteer about the brain and dementia, and thereafter they will visit the nursing homes regularly (e.g., weekly or monthly), often in small groups, during school time. During these visits, shared daily activities are undertaken together with the people with dementia, such as cooking together, singing, drawing, and many more. At the end of the school year, the project is evaluated, and continued at the start of the next school year with the children who moved one class up. During COVID-19 pandemic, to be able to stay in contact with each other, different activities were invented that were in line with regulations at that time, such as making window paintings.