The future of elderly care


The challenge

Healthcare is under pressure and the demand for (complex) care will only increase in the future. This requires new ways of looking at and providing care. How do you initiate a change that takes time? And how do you ensure that you don't lose people in the meantime? That is the question that healthcare organization Thebes faces.

Thebe provides community nursing, specialist care, home guidance and day care in 19 municipalities in West and Central Brabant and has 25 residential care centers.


In 2022, we developed a vision of the future together with Thebe: Thebe focuses entirely on essential care, based on 'self', 'home' and 'technology'. Since 2023, we have been working in service design sprints together with employees, clients and the health care chain on new concepts for services, the use of technology and the interaction with informal caregivers and volunteers. With our approach we make major challenges manageable and accelerate change.

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Shared vision of the future

It is a fact that the future of elderly care is changing. We cannot predict exactly what that will look like in 2030, but it does provide direction if we can imagine what is possible and desirable. With our Future Scoping methodology, we explored trends and developments and arrived at a shared picture of the direction Thebe is heading with all 60 managers, client representatives and professionals.

Design thinking in health care

The transition towards a new Thebe is complex on several levels. Healthcare professionals are faced with a lot of demands and Thebe cannot do it alone. Almost all changes affect clients and their loved ones and often several players in the healthcare chain.

To arrive at a workable strategy, we divided the movement into five themes. For each theme, we delved deeper into the desired situation in design sprints and developed solutions for new services through co-creation.

Life journeys in 2030

The life journey (customer journey) is the framework for all sprints. How can we contribute as much as possible to and ensure that people's lives are as self-reliant as possible? The desired experience is always the starting point for the change we design.

How can we...

In each sprint we zoom in on a part of the journey and investigate how Thebe can give self-reliance back to clients and their loved ones. We then come up with solutions to support the changing role of professionals, clients and the network.

We did the same for eye drops and putting on support stockings. With the entire chain involved: pharmacists, specialists, general practitioners, insurers and the VVT and welfare organizations in the region. Together we designed a new customer journey that is as optimal and efficient as possible for people, their environment and the chain.

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Meaningful care time

The direction that Thebe is going focuses on helping as many vulnerable people as possible who need support and/or intensive care, with as much job satisfaction as possible. That is why we focus on the interplay between informal caregivers, volunteers and the best technology and digital assistants.

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In design sprints we develop solutions together with healthcare professionals that lead to the most meaningful care. And the litmus test: how do clients respond?” Karin Vink - Program manager future vision Thebe

From concept to validated prototype

In a two-week sprint we work towards validated prototypes of concepts. We explore and design solutions that help people let go of all non-essential care, now and in the future, to increase people's self-reliance.

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Step into the Future of Thebe

To include all professionals and clients of Thebe in the vision of Thebe, 'Lot' talks about the steps being taken via, among other things, the Thebe journal on its own landing page concerning the vision of the future. Change is always difficult, and it is important to involve the organization to ensure support and enthusiasm.

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