UKON is a regional network within the field of elderly care and people with chronic illness. We provide (scientific) knowledge for 19 affiliated healthcare institutions, as well as for educational purposes.

Sustainable network

UKON stands for University Knowledge network for Older adult care Nijmegen. It was founded in 2003 by the Radboudumc and four healthcare organisations: Kalorama, Stichting de Waalboog, De Zorgboog and Riethorst Stromenland. In subsequent years, the organisation has grown to 19 organisations spread across four Dutch provinces. Combined, these healthcare organisations offer specialized care to more than 14.000 residents in over 250 locations, such as residental care centers, nursing homes and small-scale homes.

Our mission

Sharing knowledge contributing to care for people in a vulnerable period in their life.

Our work

Research and practice are always connected. Studies conducted by UKON researchers help to improve the care provided at healthcare organisations, who in turn help us make sure that our research topics are always relevant. Together, we strive for continuous improvement of the care provided to vulnerable elders and people with chronic illness. People who require care and assistance, either at home or in an assisted living environment.

What we do

UKON develops, distributes and implements (scientific) knowledge about healthcare for seniors and people with chronic illness. We do so mostly for our affiliated institutions and for educational purposes.

What we accomplish

Sharing knowledge to contribute to care for people in a vulnerable period in their life.

Why that matters

Every person has the right to a humane life, with as much individuality and autonomy as possible. This is imperative, especially during a period in life where people become increasingly vulnerable and dependent on others for their well-being.

The UKON-Symposium (2019). This yearly event brings together UKON-scientists and healtcare workers from the affiliated organisations

UKON Symposium 2019. At this yearly held event, UKON-scientists and healthcare professionals from the affiliated organisations come together to share knowledge and discuss important topics in their field.

The future

The amount of time that elderly people with chronic illness can remain at home is ever increasing. While this is, of course, a beautiful development, for our healthcare institutions it means a significant increase in complexity of the care they need to provide (following from a more complex demand for care). Technology plays an increasingly important role. All these developments require more specific expertise.

There is much work to be done in healthcare, with (still) too few people available to do it. In addition, population ageing is putting ever more pressure on first-line care. Together we need to tackle these challenges. The ever-changing and complex reality is asking for innovative research methods that result in breakthroughs that matter for the client.

Contact us

Are you interested in getting to know more about our organisation? Feel free to reach out, either by sending an e-mail to, or call 024-36 18181 and ask for Deborah van Leeuwen or Marlies van Kordelaar.