+ General Country Information
+ History
+ Concept of Time
+ Family and friends
+ Gender
+ I or We Attitudes
+ Manners and Taboos
+ Spiritual care
+ Communication Style
+ Greetings
+ Language and Communication
+ Non-verbal Communication - Eye contact
+ Non-verbal Communication - Gestures
+ Non-verbal Communication - Personal Space
+ Attitudes and understanding of dementia and other health issues
+ Attitudes to end of life care
+ Attitudes to pain
+ Attitudes to residential care
+ Care information
+ Cultural Activities
+ Cultural Traits
+ Food and Diet
+ Music
+ Special Days - Christmas
+ Special Days - Easter
+ Special Days - New Year
+ Special Days - Other
+ Superstitions

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Generalist

  • Netherlands, officially Kingdom of the Netherlands, or “Nederland” in Dutch, is located in the continent of Europe.
  • Holland is often used when people are referring the Netherlands, however Holland actually only refers to the Noor-Holland and Zuid-Holland provinces.
  • People from the Netherlands are referred to as Dutch, Netherlanders orNederlanders".
  • The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam.
  • There are two countries that share land borders with the Netherlands, which are Belgium (450km south) and Germany (577 km east).
  • The Netherlands ranked the 135th largest country with a total area of 41,543 square kilometres (Central Intelligence Agency).
  • The population of the Netherlands is 17,016,967 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016).
  • The major ethnic groups include; Dutch 78.6%, EU 5.8%, Turkish 2.4%, Indonesian 2.2%, Moroccan 2.2%, Surinamese 2.1%, Bonairian, Saba Islander, Sint Eustatian 0.8% (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014).
  • The climate consists of cool summers, mild winters and high humidity.

Tips

  • Understand that a person’s country of birth does not define their culture. Whilst we are “born into culture” we are not “born with culture”. A person’s “culture” is something that is learnt from our environment and by our individual experiences. It continuously adapts to our changing circumstances throughout our lives.
  • Determine what culture or cultures your care recipient identifies with.
  • Keep in mind that the culture in metropolitan areas varies with culture in rural areas and that culture in different regions within a country may also vary significantly.
  • Learn about your care recipient’s life history, and who they identify with, to determine their individual cultural traits. Document any significant details.
  • Understand how your care recipient’s culture informs their values, behaviours, beliefs assumptions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities.

Resources

Generalist

History of Migration to Australia

  • In 1606, the Duyfken (Little Dove) captained by William Janszoon of Amsterdam, became the first ship to chart part of Australia’s coastline, and was reportedly the first European person to land in Australia, on the Cape York Peninsula.
  • Other Dutch explorers soon followed.
  • Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer from Lutjegast, partially circumnavigated Australia by 1644 and produced a map showing the size of Australia, which was at that time named New Holland.
  • The incomplete map produced by Tasman was updated by Captain Cook in 1770.
  • The gold rushes during the 1850s saw some Dutch merchant ships come to Australia, however the rates of immigration was low.
  • After World War II, the Netherlands suffered economically and socially, faced a housing crisis and high rates of unemployment.
  • The Australian government was seeking migrants. Consequently migration from the Netherlands was considerable and the Dutch became the second largest non-British group.
  • The Dutch assimilated readily and the skills and enterprise of the Dutch have made important contributions to Australia.

History of the Netherlands

  • Refer to History Resources section

Tips

  • Determine exactly where your care recipient was born and where they lived. For example; was your care recipient born in Australia, or did they migrate to Australia? If they migrated, how and why did your care recipient migrate to Australia? What experiences and associations do they have of their home country? If they have lived in other countries; where have they lived? How long did they spend in other countries and what did they do whilst they were there?
  • Be aware and sensitive to any stress that may have been experienced as a result of their history (this may include; family separation, homesickness, conflict, depression and isolation).
  • The knowledge of a person’s history may assist with a better understanding of the care recipient as well as any associated psychological issues resulting from their past.
  • Understand how your care recipient’s culture informs their values, behaviours, beliefs assumptions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities and document any significant details.

Resources

Generalist

  • The culture in the Netherlands is defined as a highly “individualist”.
  • This means that the Netherlands is a society where the preference is for people to look after themselves and their immediate family.
  • The Netherlands scores 80 on the Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV) index. (Hofstede centre).
  • In “individualist” cultures, employees are expected to be self-reliant and show initiative.
  • The index scale ranges from 0-100 with 50 as a mid-level. The low numbers indicate “collectivist” cultures, and high numbers indicate “individualist” cultures.

Tips

  • Identify and document if your care recipient is an “individualist” with an “I” attitude of self and immediate family, or a “collectivist” with a “we” or group attitude, or if they have both “collectivist” and “individualist” traits.
  • Allow for a “collectivist” person to feel the comfort of doing most things in a group setting and for an “individualist” person to have more opportunities for themselves.

Resources

Generalist

Australia

  • The major religious affiliations of Dutch people in Australia include; Catholic, Presbyterian and Reformed. A considerable proportion (31.1%) stated that they do not have any religious affiliation (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

Netherlands

  • The major religious affiliations in the Netherlands are; Roman Catholic 28% and Protestant 19%. Other religions include; approximately 5% Muslim and fewer numbers of Hindu, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, and Orthodox. A considerable proportion (42%) stated they have no religious affiliation (Central Intelligence Agency, 2009).

General

  • Different cultures and religions have different expectations of care in regards to toileting, dressing and feeding.
  • Every culture and religion vary greatly in spiritual needs and this may impact on the acceptability of certain treatments and medications. Therefore, it is paramount to identify the care recipient’s religion and cultural background to appropriately address the supports and services required.
  • For further information, refer to Spiritual care resources.

Tips

  • Accept and respect that customs, religious and spiritual beliefs vary from one culture to another and that the beliefs of your care recipient may significantly differ to your own beliefs.
  • Utilise resources and attend training sessions to increase your own knowledge about different religious and spiritual beliefs.
  • It is useful to ask care recipients a range of questions such as; ‘what helps you cope in difficult times’ and ‘what is important to you’ to determine ways to enhance their care.
  • Be aware of the significance of spiritual needs to your care recipient. Identify and document their religious beliefs and spiritual needs such as; any special requirements regarding food, personal care, linguistic needs or religious impacts towards treatments and/or medication.
  • Identify and provide access to relevant religious literature, radio, TV, live stream services, DVDs and CDs.
  • Support care recipients to maintain religious networks and religious representation and facilitate outings to places of worship.
  • Acknowledge and observe days of religious significance to your care recipients in a culturally appropriate manner.

Resources

Generalist

  • Priority to the immediate family is common in the Netherlands.
  • Most families are small and consist of parents and just one or two children.
  • More recently, single-parent families, couples without children and single person households are increasing.
  • Family is considered as the basis of the social structure.
  • Fewer women work full-time than other cultures, allowing more time for them to look after their children.

Tips

  • Be aware and sensitive to the fact that some people may have become separated from family for a range of reasons including; Stolen Generations, war, conflict, disaster or migration.
  • Families and friends from different cultures will have a different understanding of dementia and their expectation of care for their loved one may vary significantly.
  • Provide communication and information in accordance with their language and literacy level and facilitate all achievable care expectations.
  • Gain an understanding of the dynamics of your care recipient’s family and friends and engage with them whenever required/needed.
  • Ensure that roles in decision-making about care of the person with dementia have been clearly established and documented.
  • Research indicates that carers of people living with dementia experience greater strain and distress than carers of other people.
  • It is important to be sensitive to the feelings of shame and guilt that family members and friends may be experiencing.

“Family and friends” resources

  • A range of information to help support family and friends is available in the “Family and friends, resources” section below.
  • A range of health information helpsheets in various languages are available in the “Language and communication, resources” section of this app.

Resources

Generalist

In Australia

  • The main languages spoken by Dutch people in Australia are English, Dutch and German.
  • The majority of Dutch (95.5%) who speak a language other than English, speak English either very well or well. A small proportion (2.2%) do not speak English well, or do not speak English at all. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

In the Netherlands

  • The official national language of the Netherlands is Dutch and it is spoken by the majority of people.
  • Other official languages include; Frisian and Papiamento (spoken by people from the Dutch Caribbean - Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, all three islands which are part of the Netherlands).
  • Dialects are also widely spoken in the various provinces.
  • Many Dutch people learn a foreign language, the most common being English.

Tips

  • Being able to communicate effectively is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of the care recipient.
  • Be careful not to underestimate or assume the communication capacity of a person with dementia.
  • Ensure that the care recipient has participation in decisions that affect them.
  • The words you use when speaking to, and about, a person with dementia matters. It is important to always use positive and enabling language and to not use words that may cause offense.
  • Ensure the health care and personal care plans and reviews identify and support the linguistic needs of your care recipient and their family.  Be mindful that linguistic considerations should include the care recipients’ menu choices, food services, their religious and spiritual needs, and their ability to participate in activities. Determine what language(s) they are able to speak, read and write. Communicate with them and provide information according to their language preference and literacy level.
  • Identify and record and health issues such as poor hearing, poor eyesight, dehydration or problems with dentures to ensure there is no miscommunication with your care recipient.
  • Be aware that most people with dementia will revert back to their native tongue and/or other languages they have learnt.
  • Care recipients should always be given the choice to use professional translators and interpreters. Provide professional translators and interpreters to your care recipients and/or to their family whenever they request the need, when the care plan is developed, when the care plan is reviewed and at any time when “informed consent” is required.
  • Care recipients often prefer to communicate with a care worker from their own cultural background therefore the use of bilingual staff or volunteers should be always be considered and provided whenever possible. The care recipient should however be given this choice rather than it be assumed that this is their preference.
  • Provide visual aids, use gestures and physical prompts, and learn and use key words in the person’s own language to improve communication during routine care and other simple service interventions.
  • Ensure that communication is adapted to the care recipient’s level of dementia and understand the importance of allowing more time for those in later stages to understand and respond to you.
  • Support your care recipients' individual choices by providing access to media such as radio, TV, live stream services, DVDs, CDs and books in their preferred language.
  • All staff and volunteers should undertake training in cultural awareness, appropriate communication and the correct use of telephone and on-site interpreting services.

Language and Communication resources

  • Refer to the “Language and Communication, Resources” section below for a wide range of information (including communication cards, signage, health information in community languages, etc.)
  • Translating and Interpreter contact details and other relevant information is available in the "Links, Translating and Interpreting" section. 

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.
     

Resources

Generalist

  • The most common form of greeting for Dutch people is by a handshake, along with a smile and the repetition of the person’s name.
  • It is best to wait to until invited to move to a first-name basis.
  • Dutch shake hands with everyone, including children.
  • Handshakes are generally firm and swift.
  • It is common for very close friends and family to greet each other by air kissing near the cheek, usually three times, starting with the left cheek.

Men greeting Men

  • A handshake with direct eye contact is the norm.
  • A light hug or pat on the back may also be exchanged between good friends.

Women greeting Women

  • Women tend to shake hands when meeting for the first time.
  • Three light kisses or air kisses, alternating from cheek to cheek (starting on the left) is the norm for meeting with friends and family.

Men greeting Women

  • A handshake upon the first meeting is the norm.
  • Three light kisses or air kisses, alternating from cheek to cheek (starting on the left) is the norm for meeting with friends and family.

Tips

  • Start building trust and rapport from the first time you meet your care recipient. Ensure you correctly pronounce their name. Smile and speak clearly. Be respectful and make sure the care recipient understands you.
  • Establish and document how your care recipient prefers to be greeted. Take into account; formality, titles, preferred name(s), any different greeting expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation, and the way(s) they like and dislike to be greeted. 
  • Understand that a person with severe dementia will think that each time they see you during the day is for the first time. Therefore ensure that you greet them in an appropriate, friendly and caring manner each time you meet.

Language and Communication resources

  • Translating and Interpreter contact details and other relevant information is available in the "Links, Translating and Interpreting" section. 

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

  • The Dutch communication style is generally direct and straight to the point, often with very little small talk. Those who are not familiar with the Dutch culture should not mistake this as being rude.
  • Dutch people are often reserved and have formal interactions.
  • Honesty is appreciated and expected.
  • Dutch people consider self-control to be a virtue, so they are often very private and do not tend to display their emotions publicly.
  • Dutch people often keep their personal life and their business life separate and they generally do not discuss personal matters with others, not even close friends.

Tips

Care recipient

  • Identify the communication style of your care recipient.
  • Be aware that communication styles vary from one culture to another.
  • Realise that physical, sensory, psychological and social issues can impact on the ability to communicate effectively. Make a note of any that are relevant to your care recipient.

Care worker

  • To ensure that the care recipient can understand you avoid speaking too quickly or using slang, acronyms or jargon. Also try not to give too much information at one time.
  • Be aware not to use patronising speech or a demeaning tone as this can lead to a communication breakdown.
  • Remember than non-verbal communication such as body language is just as important as verbal communication. Ensure that your tone matches your body language to avoid miscommunication.
  • Be kind and caring in your communication with the care recipient. Remember the person with dementia has a lifetime of experiences and is a person with feelings, even though may have lost the capacity to think or behave like they used to.

Language and Communication resources

  • Translating and Interpreter contact details and other relevant information is available in the "Links, Translating and Interpreting" section. 

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

  • Dutch people generally use direct eye contact.
  • Direct eye contact is acceptable between people of all ages and gender.

Tips

  • Determine and document if the care recipient prefers direct or indirect eye contact and if there are any different expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation.

Resources

Generalist

  • An index finger pointed at the forehead suggests that someone is crazy. This gesture is usually used as an insult.
  • Tapping the side of the head at the temple with a finger usually means someone is intelligent.
  • Hands in pockets, or crossed arms during conversations, can be perceived as disinterest or disrespect.
  • Tapping the elbow of a bent arm with the palm of the other hand may suggest that someone is unreliable or untrustworthy.
  • Sliding the index finger down the nose a few times suggests that someone is cheap.
  • Shaking an open hand along your cheek, indicates that the food is delicious.

Tips

  • Any gestures you use need to be respectful to the person with dementia.
  • Body language can provide important clues and increased understanding for both the carer and the care recipient. However many gestures have different meanings in different cultures therefore take care to ensure there is no miscommunication.
  • Document any gestures that the care recipient prefers to use or any gestures they find offensive.
  • Determine if the care recipient has expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation in relation to the use of touch. For example; if they find it appropriate/comforting for someone to hold their hand when they are upset or in pain.

Resources

Generalist

  • An arm’s length of space is acceptable during conversation with others.
  • Less personal space is accepted between close family and friends and a light touch (of the arms, shoulders or hands) may be used.
  • In business settings, more personal space is generally given and touch is not common.

Tips

  • Determine and document how the care recipient feels about their personal space and if there are any different expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation.
  • Allow for a “collectivist” person (with a “we” or group attitude) to feel the comfort of doing most things in the space with others (group settings) and for an “individualist” person (with an “I” attitude of self and immediate family) to have opportunities to have personal space for themselves.

Resources

Generalist

  • Dutch people are generally punctual.
  • Punctuality is valued and expected.
  • Lateness is usually frowned upon in business settings and services are expected to run on time, however being 10-15 minutes in a social setting is usually considered acceptable.

Tips

  • Determine and document how the care recipient and the family view “the concept of time”. For example; do they like to be punctual? Do they expect others to be punctual?
  • Ensure the care recipient's concept of time does not adversely impact on meal times, activities and other scheduled events.
  • Be mindful that shaming and blaming someone for being late can cause feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. Instead, use positive communication. For example; you might ask “Would a different time would be more suitable”?

Resources

Generalist

Global Gender Gap Index 2016 rankings

  • Netherlands placed 16th on a global index measuring gender equality out of 144 countries. (World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2016).

Relationships

  • The Dutch have two different forms of living arrangements regulated by law; 1/ partners can marry, or 2/ partners can enter into a registered partnership.
  • Partners in the Netherlands may sign a cohabitation agreement, or alternatively simply live together (without any signed formal agreement). 
  • In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to create the possibility of marriage between two men, or two women.
  • In male/female relationships, men are usually still considered to be the provider for the family. Women continue to do the majority of the housework duties and raise the children, due to the belief that maternity care has great developmental benefits for children.

Rainbow Europe index

  • Netherlands scored 66.1% and is placed 11th on the Rainbow Index for LGBTI friendly countries in 2016. On this scale, 0% represents gross violations of human rights and discrimination and 100% represents respect of human rights and full equality. (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association, 2016).

Tips

  • For many people with dementia the gender of the care workers is important, particularly in sensitive situations. Determine and document if they have any preferences, concerns or expectations regarding care provided by someone of a different gender.
  • Accept and respect that male-female roles in families may vary significantly among different cultures.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersexed (LGBTI) people with dementia

  • Don’t assume the gender preference of the person with dementia.
  • Recognise that even those that have children may not be completely heterosexual and understand that it could take some time for a care recipient to gain enough trust to share personal information about their gender preference.
  • Begin by evaluating yourself and any assumptions, phobias, biases or beliefs that you might hold internally.
  • Utilise resources and attend training sessions to increase your own knowledge about LGBTI people.
  • Understand the importance of your first and immediate reaction or response. Be aware of your own reactions - not only what you think, but also be aware of what you say and what body language you use.
  • Most LGBTI people have experienced rejection, stigma, discrimination and abuse and therefore have a fear of receiving inadequate treatment, being denied services or facing further discrimination or prejudice. It is vitally important to create a non-judgmental open and caring atmosphere free from discrimination. Confidentiality is also a vital aspect of care for LGBTI care recipients.
  • Be careful with the terminology you use to the care recipient and their partners.
  • Provide partners of LGBTI care recipients with the same respect and privileges that you would give to a spouse or relative.      

Resources

Generalist

World Alzheimer’s Day

  • Alzheimer associations around the world unite for World Alzheimer’s Day on the 21st of September, to make a difference for people with dementia and their families and carers worldwide.

Dementia in the Netherlands

  • The Netherlands has an ageing population, and whilst dementia is not a normal part of ageing, the rates of dementia in people aged 65 years and over are greater and this has led to an increased number of Dutch people with dementia.
  • Elderly Dutch people with dementia are usually cared for by relatives at home in the early stages of dementia, followed by home care helpers and case managers in the later stages of dementia.
  • Residential care facilities have undergone development from large buildings with low privacy to small scale residences offering person-centred care.
  • In 2012, the national standard for dementia care was developed. It includes; welfare, care, treatment and housing standards which meet the wishes of patients and their families. It also encompasses all professional guidelines, best practices and evidence-based interventions. Case management for people with dementia is a crucial part of the national standard (Alzheimer Europe).

Tips

  • The amount of understanding and acceptance of dementia may vary significantly among different cultures, families and individuals. Determine the understanding of dementia of the care recipient and their family, if they accept dementia and if stigma is associated.
  • Provide information to the care recipient and their family according to their language preference and literacy level.
  • Ensure that people with dementia and their families are aware of dementia information and of support services available.

Dementia resources

  • A wide range of information is available in the Attitudes and understanding of dementia disability and illness, resources section below.
  • Contact details for Alzheimer’s Australia offices are available in the “Links, Alzheimer’s Australia offices” section of this app.

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

Attitudes to Residential Care

  • Residential care is generally well accepted.
  • Older Dutch people are often reasonably well off financially, however they may have some regrets that they have missed out on the welfare benefits for elderly people in the Netherlands now that they have aged in Australia.
  • Many older Dutch people have a preference to live and receive services “from their own”.

Attitudes to Sickness and Hospitals

  • In general, the Dutch have a very rational approach to sickness and hospitals.
  • Health care in the Netherlands, is for the most part, the responsibility of the government. The majority of Dutch carry medical insurance and the unemployed and low-income families are protected by public health insurance.

Tips

  • The meaning or value of residential or community care may vary greatly among cultures.
  • Be aware that many people will not want to hear about or talk about residential care until crisis point.
  • Understand that families and friends from different cultures will have different expectations for the care of people, particularly in regards to toileting, dressing, feeding and other self-help skills.
  • Allow the care recipient and their family to make choices to suit the individual’s care needs.
  • Ask care recipients questions about what can be done to achieve quality of life and help them have meaningful lives that enable them to pursue their cultural interests and passions in accordance with any frailty, disability or cognitive impairment.
  • Understand and facilitate all achievable care expectations of the care recipient and their family.

Resources

Generalist

  • Dutch people are often considered to be fairly stoic in regards to pain.
  • Pain behaviour studies suggest there is a need to be cautious of ethnic or cultural stereotypes. Therefore, even though there are findings of general cultural differences it is considered very important to evaluate the pain of each person individually.
  • Clinical recommendations regarding pain treatment are available in the “Attitudes to pain Resources” section of this app.

Tips

  • Research indicates that pain and discomfort are frequently under reported and under treated amongst people with dementia.
  • Ensure care recipients and their family understand pain relief medication and treatment options by providing information in their preferred language and in accordance with their language ability.
  • Religion and culture may influence your care recipients pain experience including; their pain expression, pain language, remedies for pain, social roles and expectations and perceptions of the medical care system.
  • Understand that for some religious or spiritual beliefs, fate and/or karma may mean that your care recipient also believes their illness and pain are caused by a higher power.
  • Care recipients may feel it is important to accept their pain in order to demonstrate their religious / spiritual faith. This may also impact their request for pain medication and treatment.
  • Identify and support the cultural and religious impact on the acceptability of certain treatments and medications.
  • Identify, respect and document how your care recipient and their family view and express pain.
  • Pay particular attention to verbal expressions of pain during later stages of dementia and ensure adequate treatment is provided.

Resources

Generalist

  • Attitudes towards end of life are usually rational and efficient and do not differ significantly between the Dutch and Anglo-Celtic traditions.
  • Religious beliefs dictate beliefs about death, burial and the afterlife.
  • A sound understanding of the dying patient’s meaning of end of life care is imperative to truly deliver individualised palliative care.

Tips

  • Understand that attitudes to end of life care, death and dying are diverse and may include a range of factors such as cultural and religious beliefs.
  • Be aware that the acceptance of certain treatments and medications are likely to be impacted upon by cultural and religious factors.
  • Identify and support “end of life choices” of care recipients and their family. Note: these are formally known as “Advanced Care Directives” or “Advanced Care Planning” depending on the state or territory in Australia that you are in. Ensure their choices are documented and strictly followed.
  • Ensure the linguistic needs of care recipients are addressed in end of life religious and spiritual support.
  • Ensure family members have access to appropriate resources and support in their preferred language and in accordance with their language ability.

Resources

Generalist

Manners

  • Dutch generally adhere to basic etiquette. Manners may be seen to be frank and informal.

Taboos

  • Hands in pockets, or crossed arms during conversations, may be perceived as disinterest or disrespect.

Tips

  • “Manners” and “taboo” expectations and beliefs may vary greatly among cultures resulting in differing emotions and behaviours in your care recipient.
  • Be aware of your own beliefs and expectations of “manners” and “taboo” beliefs and how these may differ to those of your care recipient.
  • Be aware of judging other people's behaviour, expectations and beliefs according to the standards of your own culture.
  • Be aware that the care recipient may judge your behaviour according to the standard of their own culture.
  • It is important to recognise, accept and document individual interpretations of “manners” and “taboo” expectations and beliefs of your care recipient and their family.

Resources

Generalist

Superstitions that some Dutch may believe include:

  • Knock on wood to ‘knock off’ bad luck.
  • It is bad luck to whistle inside a house.
  • A broken mirror is bad luck.
  • A black cat walking away from you is bad luck.
  • Bad luck comes in threes.
  • Opening an umbrella inside the house is bad luck.

Tips

  • Superstitions may be considered as old wives’ tales, family traditions or have a significant meaning and be taken seriously.
  • Be aware of your own beliefs and how these may differ to those of your care recipient.
  • Be aware of judging other people's superstitious beliefs according to the standards of your own culture.
  • Be aware that the care recipient may judge your beliefs according to the standard of their own culture.
  • It is important to recognise, accept and document individual interpretations of superstitious beliefs.

Resources

Generalist

  • Dutch breakfasts often includes; bread, jams, a variety of cheese and smallgoods along with tea or coffee.
  • Lunch usually consists of bread accompanied with a range of cheeses and smallgoods.
  • A traditional Dutch dinner meal typically includes meat, potatoes and vegetables.
  • Common Dutch food includes; pea and vegetable soup, mashed potatoes, carrot and onion (stamppot), mashed cabbage and smoked sausage (known as boerekool metworst).
  • Other Dutch favourites include; beef and chicken croquettes, ham and eggs on bread (uitsmijter), Fricandellen (a sort of minced-meat hot dog), chips with mayonnaise, raw herring and onion, smoked mackerel on bread and savoury pancakes (pannekoeken).

Dining Etiquette and customs at ceremonial occasions

  • Guests may be shown to a particular seat and should remain standing until invited to sit.
  • Women are seated first.
  • The fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right.
  • Most food, including sandwiches, is eaten with cutlery.
  • It is common for the host to give the first toast and for honoured guests to return a toast later in the meal.
  • Crossing your cutlery, with your fork over your knife, and placing it in the middle of your plate indicates that you have not finished eating.
  • It is best to initially accept small amounts of food so that you can accept second helpings.
  • It is offensive to waste food in the Netherlands so finish everything on your plate.
  • To indicate you have finished your meal, lay your fork and knife in a parallel position across the right side of your plate.

Tips

  • Food is an important aspect of cultural identity, therefore it is important to identify food preferences, likes and dislikes including eating habits, meal times, preferred setting, preferred eating utensils etc.
  • Identify and facilitate cultural food when possible and ensure the impact of religion on food services is documented, adhered to and regularly reviewed.
  • Provide menu choices and food services information in the preferred language of care recipients, or with pictures if the person has difficulty reading. 
  • Consider alternative ways to facilitate culturally appropriate food such as; obtaining recipes from family/friends, specific meal delivery services, community groups, seniors’ clubs, or and/or other clubs.
  • Ensure that the care recipient is given food choices throughout all stages of dementia.

Food and diet resources

  • A wide range of information (including religious food requirements, nutrition information and recipes) is available in the “Food and diet resources” section below.

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799

Resources

Generalist

  • A person-centred care approach helps organisations provide accessible, responsive and flexible services that meet the diverse needs and preferences of people living with dementia in our community. 
  • Many people with dementia want to remain independent for as long as possible and rely on the community care system to help them achieve this.

Additional care considerations for Dutch people

  • Residential care and community care is well established in the Netherlands.
  • Family are generally not given the expectation of caring for their frail elderly relatives, however the Dutch living in Australia tend to expect more from their children.
  • Family visits to elderly relatives is important.

Tips

  • Identify and document the care needs of your care recipient and continuously re-evaluate how their dementia progression affects their care needs.
  • Make every effort to understand a dementia behaviour before attempting to manage it, as you will often discover that what lies behind it is a genuine attempt to communicate an unmet need.  

Care information resources

  • A wide range of information is available (e.g. personal hygiene, sleeping, incontinence etc.) in the “Care information, resources” below.
  • Advice and Support - Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.
  • Employee/employer resources - A range of information is available under “Links – Other useful weblinks”.

Resources

Generalist

  • Dutch people are often considered to be thrifty, hardworking, practical and well organised.
  • There is value placed on cleanliness and neatness.
  • The Dutch are generally modest and do not draw attention to themselves, accomplishments or possessions.

Tips

  • Everyone has “culture”. This includes a number of factors such as ethnicity, identity, age, gender, education, sexual orientation, ability/disability, values, beliefs, attitudes etc.
  • Recognise your own cultural traits and influences and be mindful not to judge other people’s behaviour and beliefs according to the standard of your own culture.
  • Be aware that your care recipient may judge your behaviour and beliefs according to the standard of their own culture.
  • Your care recipient may be “similar to others” but “no two people are the same” so take care not to generalise or make assumptions about them. Gain general cultural information from resources to assist with conversations to allow you to identify your care recipient’s individual cultural traits.
  • Understand and document how your care recipient’s individual cultural traits impact their care needs.
  • Increase your knowledge about different cultural practices and issues through resources, cultural background information sessions and/or cultural awareness training.
  • Cultural Traits resources

  • Find information (such as guides and cultural profiles created by other organisations) in the “Cultural Traits, resources” section below.
  • You will also find information including; links to community contacts, cultural profiles, useful weblinks etc. in the “Links” section of the app.

Resources

Generalist

  • Easter is celebrated by many Dutch.
  • Easter falls on the Sunday after the ecclesiastical Full Moon that falls on or after March 21.
  • Devout Christians attend church over the Easter period, including a service held on Easter Sunday that is longer than usual church services.
  • A festive meal is often shared after the Easter Sunday service.
  • Food is a key part of the Easter celebrations. Family, friends and neighbours will gather and share luxurious feasts which may include; eggs, paasstol (a rich loaf of bread filled with raisins, nuts and marzipan), croissants, cheese, ham, and seafood such as shrimp, smoked eel and salmon. Butter is often formed into the symbolic shape of a lamb and it is commonly flavoured with herbs. Chocolates and sweets that are egg or rabbit shaped are also shared during this time.
  • Lamb is often eaten later in the day, as it is considered symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Easter egg hunts are an Easter tradition shared by many families with children. Decorate boiled eggs along with chocolate eggs are hidden around the house or garden and children are told the eggs have been delivered by the Easter rabbit (paashaas).
  • Easter egg hunts may also be arranged by organisations. The prize is usually a large chocolate rabbit or Easter eggs.
  • In the Netherlands, families may take a short holiday during this time of year as schools are usually closed for a few days.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of Easter to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about Easter are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • Christmas is celebrated in the Netherlands on the 5th, 24th and 25th December.
  • Most Dutch decorate their homes with Christmas trees. Other decorations may include; pine and holly boughs, simple lights and candles.
  • Major celebrations are held on the 5th of December in the Netherlands, as this is when ‘Sinterklaas’ (St Nicholas), and his helpers all referred to as ‘Piet’ (Peter) brings  gifts such as gingerbread men, marzipan, spiced biscuits and chocolate in the shape of letters, to children that have been good.
  • Dutch people also usually hold parties on the 5th December where ‘treasure hunt’ games are played. Poems and riddles give clues to the location of the gifts.
  • On Christmas Eve night, 24th December, Santa Claus (also known as the ‘Christmas Man’ or ‘Kerstman’) comes from Lapland in Finland to deliver children more presents.
  • Christmas Day usually involves attending church and then sharing a family meal.
  • The Dutch greeting for Merry Christmas is ‘Zalig Kerstfeest’ or ‘Zalig Kerstmis’.
  • Other Christmas greetings include; ‘Vrolijk Kerstfeest’ which means ‘Cheerful Christmas’ or ‘Prettig Kerstfeest’ (Nice Christmas).

Tips

  • Understand the importance of Christmas to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about Christmas are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • New Year's Day is celebrated.
  • Celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve, 31st of December, the last day of the Gregorian calendar and continue until New Year’s Day.
  • New Year is a time of great celebration in the Netherlands.
  • Many people gather with family and friends and watch the famous ‘New Year’s Eve conferences’, which is a monologue by a comedian that makes fun about the news of the year.
  • A Dutch tradition is to prepare ‘Olibol’, a doughnut that is deep fried in different flavours and covered with icing sugar. Other common food includes; New Year black buns, shortbread, scones, currant loaf and cheese.
  • Bonfires are often lit on New Year’s Eve in line with the traditional belief that it helps to bid farewell to the year gone by and to welcome in the New Year.
  • Children traditionally visit houses to sing New Year songs. People may give the children sweets, coins or apples in return for their New Year well wishes. It is customary for this to be done before noon, as those who continue after are considered foolish.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of New Year to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about New Year are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

Special days in the Netherlands include the following:

  • Carnival celebrations are held in the Netherlands the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
  • King’s  birthday – 27th April
  • It was announced in 2013 that as of 2014, Queen's Day (30 April) in the Netherlands would instead become King's Day, and this would be celebrated on 27 April . This followed the queen's abdication from the throne in favour of her eldest son Willem Alexander, whose birthday is on 27 April.
  • Memorial Day – 4th May
  • A day of remembrance of the Dutch casualties in World War II. The Netherlands observes a minute of silence at eight o’clock in the evening.
  • Liberation Day -  5th May
  • Music festivals and festivities are held in the Netherlands to celebrate the end of German occupation in 1945.
  • The Relief of Leiden – 3rd October
  • The event of Leiden commemorates the revolt of Protestant William of Orange against the Catholic Philip II of Spain and subsequent relief of the city in 1574. Parades, markets, concerts, parties, traditional dishes and fireworks are held in the Netherlands.
  • Eve of St Nicholas Day – 5th December
  • St Nicholas is celebrated for assisting those in need and providing healings and miracles. This day marks the day that St Nicholas and his attendant Peter visited the Dutch Community Centre to deliver presents to children and tell those children that were misbehaving to behave themselves. During this day people exchange gifts with family and friends.
  • St Nicholas Day – 6th December
  • People may give surprise presents on this day, especially in schools. People are given the name of another person and they will make a surprise present for that person. Presents are usually items that the other person would find useful with their favourite hobby. These presents are usually accompanied with a poem of clues regarding the gift giver, but their identity is meant to remain a mystery.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of any significant days to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about special days are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

Popular games amongst elderly Dutch people include; bingo and card games including the traditional card game ‘klaverjassen’.

Reminiscence                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Smell or taste - Using smell kits or different foods. Suggestions include:  nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and apples.                                                                                                                           
  • Sight - Photographs, cookbooks, slides, films, painting pictures, looking at objects. (Refer to the “Cultural activities resource” section for some visual ideas).          
  • Touch - Touching objects, feeling textures, painting and pottery. Pampering, massage hands etc. (if it is considered culturally appropriate by the care recipient and they trust you to do this without being intrusive).
  • Sound - Personalised playlists, listening to familiar tunes from the radio, CD's, YouTube, listening to cultural performances, or making music using various instruments. (Refer to the “Music resources” section for some music ideas).

Tips

  • It is important to understand your care recipient’s activity likes and dislikes and their personal history to plan appropriate activities for them.
  • Your care recipient should be provided with a choice of activities to participate in.
  • Participating in suitable activities can help a person with dementia to achieve purpose and pleasure, help to improve their mood, responses, memory function, increase social interaction, sleep, improve verbal and non-verbal communication and restore a sense of identity. Activities also play a significant part in increasing the person’s wellbeing and confidence which will decrease responsive behaviours or ill-being.
  • It is important that activities are suitable to the level of ability of the person with dementia. People with dementia should be encouraged to participate as independently as possible and be given the choice to participate or to watch others.
  •  Always talk to the person’s doctor before starting them on a new exercise program and ensure the program designed for them takes into account their current health and ability.
  • Alzheimer’s Australia SA, local council libraries or community organisations may be able to loan suitable cultural activities such as music, games, videos etc.

Cultural activity resources

  • For cultural activity information and ideas refer to the “Cultural activities, resources” section below.
  • For local community contact details refer to the “Links, Community Contacts” section of this app.

Resources

Generalist

There are multiple musical traditions in the Netherlands.

Contemporary Dutch - popular music (Nederpop)

  • This style emerged in the 1950s.
  • This genre is heavily influenced by the United Kingdom and United States.
  • This style is sung in Dutch and English
  • Famous bands of this style include; Golden Earring and Shocking Blue.

Levenslied

  • Levenslied is a genre of Dutch music that translates to songs of/about life.
  • This music has simple, catchy rhythms and melodies.
  • The accordion and barrel organ are key instruments used, however, more recently synthesizers and guitars may also be used.
  • Themes of this genre of music generally include love, death and loneliness.
  • Famous artists include; Koos Alberts, Willy Alberti and the late André Hazes.

Tips

  • Music is the most powerful universal language.
  • Music provides an external rhythm and can restore a person back to themselves, and to others, at least for a while.
  • People tend to remain contactable as musical beings on some level right up to the very end of life.
  • It is important to understand your care recipient’s music likes and dislikes and to provide them with their choice of music to listen to.
  • Create a personalised music playlist for your care recipient for their maximum benefit and enjoyment.
  • Provide opportunities for the person with dementia to watch live music performances.
  • Providing music a person relates to can have a wide range of benefits to the care recipient. Benefits may include; helping to improve their mood, responses, memory function, increase social interaction, improve verbal and non-verbal communication and restore a sense of identity.

Resources