In the second week of July, Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing and the LUMC Faculty of Social Sciences/Psychology organised the Honours class ‘Vitality matters’ for the first time. Around 20 high scoring students – with an average grade of 8 or higher – attended this intense course that was all targeted towards the question “What about vitality?”.
During the week of full day lectures and working groups, students concerned themselves with the diverse dimensions of vitality: What is it? How can we define it? What mechanisms underlie it? And how can we target vitality in practice? As students were from diverse disciplinary backgrounds the interaction resulted in an exchange of diverse ideas from psychology, medicine, law, international relations, biology and biomedical sciences.
At the end of the week students presented their interventions ranging from self-organized gardening, vitality coaches and a website/app by which older individuals can travel together. Finally, individual papers will be developed from this intense week and proposed interventions. It was an illuminating and inspiring week, shedding light on the concept of vitality and its possible contributions in the lives of older persons.