The proportion of individuals aged 50 years and older in our population is growing rapidly (CBS, 2006a). Furthermore, the life expectancy of older individuals has increased. In the last decade the average life expectancy of women in the Netherlands has grown from 80.3 to 81.4 years and that of men from 74.6 to 76.9 years (CBS, 2006b). This prolonged life expectancy is partly caused by improved health care services and more health promotion activities. Because the older population is expected to continue growing for the next decades, health issues that concern older adults will become more prominent in the future. In particular, chronic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, will become more prevalent. The number of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is expected to increase by 21% between the year 2000 and the year 2010 (PBOO, 2004).
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