MONUMENT newsletter
February 2021
French version | Dutch version
The MONUMENT project (MOre NUrturing and More Empowerment Nested in Technology) is a European Interreg 2 Seas project which brings together 11 partners from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. 

It aims to relieve the burden of informal caregivers of people living with dementia by providing them respite through professional and structural support.

The overall objective of the project is to enable people living with dementia to stay at home longer by increasing caregivers coping skills and improving their mutual well-being and the quality of their relationships, based on the Odense houses model.
MONUMENT bases its approach on the Dutch Odense Houses model, an innovative concept for supporting people with early-stage dementia. An Odense house is an accessible walk-in home where people decide for themselves when they come and what they do. It is a safe place nearby where they can feel ‘at home’. In ten years, 31 Odense Houses have been established in the Netherlands, and 16 are currently under construction, proving the success of the concept. In the MONUMENT project, we aim to focus on the needs of informal carers.
The MONUMENT project has four main objectives :
  Implement five pilots offering support to informal carers of people living with dementia based on the Odense concept
Set up a multilingual digital platform by and for informal carers, consolidating information on dementia friendly services, and enhancing exchange with peers
  Test and co-create technological solutions tailored to the needs of informal carers of people living with dementia
Conduct a socio-economic feasibility study on the MONUMENT model for policy makers and  provide guidance for solution actors  
How can technology make life easier for informal caregivers of people with early-stage dementia?

Through this project, we aim to find out. Informal caregivers can explore the benefits of technology by:
  • attending demonstrations of existing technologies in several Odense houses
  • cocreating a prototype of a new solution with us
Moreover, this and other information for informal caregivers will also be shared through an online platform. On the platform information will be centralized, like online trainings and interesting websites. Informal caregivers can share tips and experiences by means of blogposts. One topic of these blogposts will be interesting technologies and what it is like to use them. The platform will also bundle activities and services tailored to informal caregivers of people with dementia. In this way, we want to provide them with support and increase their coping capacity. On top of that, the platform will offer guidance to policy makers. In the long term, the website can become the standard reference platform for care facilities, general practitioners, and other interested parties.

At this moment, we are shaping the general structure of the website: what will it look like, which functionalities will it need... At the end of July, we will be able to start training the first users in supplying the website with content.
Do you have valuable content to share on this platform?
Or would you like to write down your experiences in a blogpost?

Do not hesitate to contact the MONUMENT pilot in your area !
Zeeland, The Netherlands | WVO Zorg

WVO Zorg is an elderly care organisation in Zeeland. They provide nursing home care, homecare and day-care on multiple locations on Walcheren. There is even an Odensehuis-like concept in a vegetable garden complex in Vlissingen. Since 1 December 2020, WVO Zorg cooperates with Odensehuis Walcheren and the Dutch National Platform of Odense houses in the MONUMENT project.

Odensehuis Walcheren is a walk-in house for people with (early) dementia and for young people with dementia and their informal carers and friends. The walk-in house opened their doors for the first time in 2013 and has welcomed may people since then. 

We regret that it is impossible at the moment to invite the other project partners to visit the Odense house Walcheren and possible other Odense houses in the Netherlands. But, at this moment, we are preparing a digital tour in and around Odensehuis Walcheren and Odensehuis Amsterdam. More information is coming soon! 

In the meantime, we are working on a manual: a guide for other partners to start up with an Odense house concept. 

All in all, WVO Zorg started with great enthusiasm and we look forward to contributing to a better care for people living with (early) dementia and their informal carers.  

Contact: Esther Hanse -
Maubeuge, France | AFEJI

AFEJI is a non-profit association created in 1962 which manages 112 establishments and services in the Nord department.

In MONUMENT, in close collaboration with the University of Lille and Eurasanté, AFEJI is creating an Odense house in Maubeuge, a town of 30,000 inhabitants close to the Belgian border and in the heart of a former mining and rural area.

To do this, we are drawing on the expertise of eight of the establishments and services working for carers and people living with dementia. Thus, a caregiver's respite platform, a day care centre dedicated to people living with dementia and two home nursing care services are involved in the project.

The implementation of MONUMENT began with exchanges with the stakeholders we want to involve and the organisation of focus groups with carers and professionals. Our objective is thus to better define the needs that the Odense home can meet and integrate it into the territory complementary to other existing solutions. With this idea in mind, we have also organised 9 workshops to define a concerted action plan by theme. Finally, we are continuing the search for the place that will become the Odense House: ideally, a house with a garden in the city centre, easily accessible by public transport.

For AFEJI, MONUMENT is an opportunity to share good practices at the European level, for the benefit of the people the association supports on a daily basis.

Contact: Marion Cofais -
Norfolk, United Kingdom | Norfolk County Council

The MONUMENT pilot project in Norfolk is focused on improving access to the natural environment for informal carers and people living with dementia. A national survey in 2016 highlighted significant barriers to outdoor access for carers of people living with dementia and we want to use this project to address these and by doing so, to enable increased feelings of wellbeing and resilience. This improved access to nature has become even more important as we look to wellbeing of informal carers in the current sanitary situation.

We will be developing bespoke support to access the natural environment through one-to-one support and by working closely with existing community peer support initiatives, such as the well regarded ‘Dementia Café’ approach. Although many of these ‘cafés’ were originally set up by the Alzheimer’s Society (UK national charity), the majority in Norfolk are now independent and volunteer-led with a focus on peer support for carers. It makes sense for us locally to work closely with them as well as other specialist carer support services, such as Carers Matter Norfolk.  

We look forward to launching our carer’s focus group and with this feedback to then delivering an innovative programme of formal training to carers, volunteers and atypical actors such as nature conservation professionals. A programme of training, informal outdoor peer support events and leisure activities will follow alongside carer-tested improvements to existing assistive technology and a local activity and green space finder which will be embedded into the regional MONUMENT platform.

Contact: Natalie Kordeczka-Clarke -
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom | National Trust

In a typical year nationally some 28m people visit the heritage sites owned by the National Trust. According to Government statistics, it is likely about 1.9m of our visitors each year will be people living with dementia. In Cambridgeshire the MONUMENT project will enable the National Trust to test and provide bespoke support to people living with dementia and their informal carers so they can access our outdoor leisure spaces. This builds on initial pilot work with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Adventure.

Working with local dementia groups, we will provide an indoor meeting space – a ‘mini-Odense house’ – at one of our properties. This will act as an informal space from which people living with dementia and/or their carers can explore our outdoor spaces in a safe way whilst receiving the many therapeutic benefits of access to the natural environment.  

We will host the testing and refining of technology solutions to enable safe exploration of outdoors spaces whilst combining this with ‘low tech’ signage to assist visitors with dementia. We will also train key staff and volunteers in how to sensitively support visitors living with dementia and their carers. 

The results of our pilot and engagement with the MONUMENT project will help to shape and share best practices which we will adopt at other sites and champion with other heritage site owners/managers in the UK and Europe. 

Contact : Phil Lakin –
Mechelen, Belgium | City of Mechelen

In 2016, Mechelen took the initiative to set up 't moNUment and work on a dementia-friendly city. A year later, the city signed a declaration of commitment to develop all kinds of initiatives around a dementia-friendly policy. This was made possible by the appointment of a provisional coordinator of 't moNUment inloophuis dementie en dementie vriendelijk Mechelen.

't moNUment is the starting point for setting up activities so that the person with dementia and his or her carer(s) can continue to participate actively in numerous activities and local social life for longer.

Informal carers can go to 't moNUment for
  • training
  • information conversations
  • contact, discussion groups and meeting opportunities with peers
  • relaxation activities together with the person with dementia
Contact : Kamala Leemans -
Learn more : 




The MONUMENT project aims to reduce the burden of informal carers of people living with dementia by providing professional and structural support to these carers alongside the use of tailormade technological solutions.

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Liesbeth Keppens
Project Coordinator
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