Find out what your brain is up to during Care Week


The annual series of activities at health-care and research facilities across Flanders is focusing this year on the brainHealthy minds

Healthy minds

Nurses, surgeons, researchers and paramedics are among the health-care professionals inviting people to discover just what they do all day – and the importance of their work – during a week of activities dedicated to the care sector.

The Week van de Zorg (Care Week) focuses this year on the brain and culminates on 17 March with Dag van de Zorg (Care Day). On that day, hospitals, care homes, pharma businesses and disability units open up to the public to demonstrate the challenges of the sector and the important developments being made in healthcare.

More than 230 organisations across Flanders will be taking part, with demonstrations and a programme of activities for children. “Movement, spiritual health, dementia, rehabilitation – they all depend on the capabilities of our brain,” said Jo Vandeurzen, Flanders’ minister for wellbeing and public health. “Our mind is a complex thing that is worthy of further research and attention.”

After cancer and heart failure, strokes are the third most common cause of death in Belgium, “and that’s reason enough for us to proceed cautiously with our lifestyles,” he continued. “Because prevention is better than cure.”

Get moving

Events during the week will explore the possibilities and vulnerabilities of the brain, as well as present the latest scientific breakthroughs. Monday is dedicated to “the fit brain”, Tuesday to “the young brain” and Wednesday to “the sick brain”.

A Brain Congress will take place on Thursday, featuring a series of presentations, followed on Friday by a programme of Brain Cafes in which patients, professionals and carers will share their experiences of dementia, burnout and depression.

Organisers have set challenges including taking the stairs for a day instead of using lifts and getting schoolchildren to walk two kilometres each day. Students in Brussels will teach people to recognise the signs of a stroke, and a series of activities will demonstrate how babies brains develop.

To kick off the event, Vandeurzen will take part in a session of the Lekker Actief fitness project at a residential care facility in Leuven. Lekker Actief is an initiative created by the non-profit Okra Sport+ to encourage seniors to move more often and eat more healthily.