Meet our Nordic Fellow Lone Koldby

Lone founded the organization Aktivitetsdosetten in 2011. Aktivitetsdosetten addresses the absence of parallel gains in opportunities for revitalizing activity and social interaction in most eldercare institutions.

Her Changemaker journey

Lone witnessed the prevailing poor quality of life in eldercare institutions when her mother was diagnosed with dementia. Besides, her work as a staff member of a nursing home sharpened her awareness of the pressing need to redesign the provision of services in such institutions to assure a much heavier emphasis on residents’ quality of life, including opportunities to pursue their interests. 

Within her work in that field, she found that even small changes facilitated in the mobility of elderly people transformed their self-perceptions and sense of well-being. Hence, Lone recognized the power of acting as a key indicator of a person’s well-being and an effective tool for their empowerment. 

In 2009, in pursuit of that conviction, Lone designed, built, and managed a “school for seniors” in Øyane Sykehjem, Norway. The “school for seniors” offers classes to seniors in a wide range of subjects, including exercise, food and wine, arts and politics.  

Lone was soon persuaded to create more active, engaged and fulfilling lives for elderly people, as an employee of a nursing home with its own set of bureaucratic rules and policies, which led to her to establish Aktivitetsdosetten. 

In Aktivitetsdosetten, Lone and her colleagues are repositioning the individual as the focal point of care in eldercare institutions. 

Her Idea

Aktivitetsdosetten or “Activity dosett”, is changing care practices to ensure that nursing staff considers each person’s individual life experience and needs for social interaction, in designing and providing care. As a result, nursing homes are transformed into more “caring” and more “humane” institutions and the physical vitality, emotional satisfaction and mental health of their newly empowered residents are markedly improved.

In Aktivitetsdosetten, the elderly have also assumed more active roles in working with the “activity doctors” and other staff to design individualized plans for activities and social interaction that is more closely aligned with their own interests and life experiences.

Aktivitetsdosetten is inspired by the concept of creating a new norm for the inclusion of individualized activities and social interactions in the daily lives of residents of eldercare institutions with the same priority as that assigned to the management and implementation of medication regimens.

Unique to Lone’s program, the activity dosett is an individualized activity plan created by each resident, with the support of the family members, volunteers, and staff members where they reside. Instead of relying only on the widely prevailing “one-fits-all” approach to organized activities (such as Bingo and card playing nights), the activity dosett responds to individual preferences and choices by permitting each resident that has opted for the Aktivitetsdosetten approach, to select from a wide range of options (e.g. dancing, singing, painting, walking, playing with animals, among others). 

The selected activities have demonstrably improved the quality of life and sense of purpose of their participants.

Curious for more?

Emma Lindgren

Nordic Director