Together on board for the Activities Conference
December 7, 2017

The euregional project “Senior Friendly Communities” (SFC) has organized on Thursday, November 23, 2017, Maastricht (NL) the “Activities Congress euPrevent SFC“. An important part of the day was dedicated to the activities buffet.

The Activities Buffet

This buffet includes 15 prevention activities (already in place) in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR). These activities work on improving the mental health of seniors, with a focus on dementia and age-related depression. The aim of the project is to exchange these activities across the borders communities can select and implement a certain number of activities presented in this buffet in their own community.

It’s all about active aging

The congress focused on the Activities Buffet, but also encouraged knowledge sharing and informal cross-border networking. The topics covered in the presentations provided further insight into dementia and age-related depression. It was an interactive program. The day was captured creatively by a draftswoman.

Morning program in a historic building on the banks of Meuse

Provincial Deputy Marleen van Rijnsbergen (Province of Limburg, NL) and Jack Gerats, Alderman of Maastricht, opened the day of the congress in the “Rebelle”. During the plenary session, Dr. Machteld Huber spoke about “positive health”: a new and dynamic concept of health. She explained how her concept deals more with the strength of the citizen himself. Professor Dr. Liane Schirra-Weirich focused on “aging in the community”. For this she used the tandem as a metaphor, regarding participation opportunities for people with dementia and their caregivers. Professor dr. Frans Verhey, representing the project leader (Maastricht University) gave a general presentation of the project progress. The morning ended with a summary presentation of the 15 activities of the Activity Buffet, given by Mr Raymond Stijns of GGD Zuid Limburg.

On board on a ship (Scheldevallei -Rederij Stiphout)

After lunch, the participants boarded the ship “Scheldevallei” which sailed to the Belgian border. During this cruise on the Meuse, participants had plenty of time to learn about the Activities Buffet during the information market. The people in charge of the stands were giving detailed answers to the participating municipalities and other guests about the 15 different activities. Furthermore, a networking space was in place on the upper deck where participants could get to know each other better and discuss their practices.

A success!

The attendance at this conference was a success. The participating communities were present but also a large number of other actors of the EMR have shown interest in this project. A total of 160 visitors. The reactions of the participants were enthusiastic:

*** I thought it was an inspiring day. Well-organized and in surprising places.
*** We had a good day. By informing us about the activities presented on the boat, we have already seen the content of the activities and our preferences. And great international touch.
*** During my first week at work at the Kerkrade municipality I had  the opportunity to participate to this  Activities Congress euPrevent “Senior Friendly Communities”. I am very excited about this project and the people with whom I have had the opportunity to meet.

See here the presentations and photos of the congress.

Live safely, enjoy life, stay involved

Most of 2017 was dominated by analysis. Within each community, an evaluation measured how they currently support their seniors with (early) dementia or age-related depression and their caregivers. Now that the activity buffet has been presented, the participating communities can select a set of personalized activities and implement them in their own community during the next phase of the project.

“We, the euPrevent SFC project team, are ready to support the communities, so that seniors of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine continue to participate with pleasure in everyday life,” says Frans Verhey, leader of the project.


The Senior Friendly Communities project is carried out within the framework of Interreg V-A Euregio Meuse-Rhine and supported by the European Union and the European Regional Governance Authority Interreg V-A Euregio Meuse-Rhine Development, with EUR 983.167,50. The project also receives co-financing and the project partners pay their own contribution.