This is the News page of
Marinela Olaroiu and Wim van den Heuvel

About us

26 January 2018
The research programme committee ‘Between Knowing and Doing’ aims to stimulate nursing research as well as creating a infrastructure for such research in the Netherlands. The committee discussed today the progress of the various programmes with special attention on how to implement the research outcomes and to realize continuity in the built network.

22 January 2018
Last year we started a research project on Healthy Ageing, which is a logical follow-up of our recent publications on life satisfaction in old age and determinants of life expectancy in Europe. After collecting data, we started to analyse these and write a manuscript.

19 January 2018
Wim attended the invitational conference ‘Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research’ in Utrecht. The first ten candidates of this leadership program received their certificate and experts discussed the need for investments in evidence-based nursing.

5 Januari 2018
PALIATIA nr 1 of 2018 is published, with news and articles on technical innovations as well as involvement of health care professionals. See:

3 January 2018
Although we have a lot of space at home, we made a ‘New Year plan’ to clear away or sell off things we did not use for years like some pottery, a bike, a lot of (scientific) books, maybe even golf-clubs. Other things like small furniture and crockery we may take to our place in Craiova.

24 December 2017
We wish all family, friends and business relations:
Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous 2018

21 December 2017
Wim was interviewed as ‘expert’ by the Universiteit Krant University of Groningen abou the rising number of suicides in older people (see: )

20 December 2017
Various courses for medical post-graduate education, edited and published by Marinela through , have been (re)accreditated for the next two years.

17 December 2017
Wim met with his two daughters in Vianen for a ‘family talk’, which is needed if one does not meet each other for a long time. We all were glad we could ‘caught up’.

12 December 2017
Snow in the Netherlands in the first half of December did surprise all companies responsible for transportation. The consequences were felt in East Asia, where flight were delayed and cancelled. We were lucky that we reached Schiphol Airport after 24 hours travelling, but the Airport was still not ‘recovered’ so leaving the airport was not ‘comfortable’.

4 December 2017
Marinela presented successfully her study on healthy ageing in Europe during the session on ‘Public Health and Health for Older People’, showing the big difference in healthy ageing  between European countries as well as in methods of assessing healthy ageing. Wim presented – in the same session – his study on the relationship between happiness and ageing societies, including 31 countries worldwide.

29 November 2017
On our way to the congress in Japan, we made a short break in Hong Kong to recover from the time lag in time. And we succeeded.

17 November 2017
Wim has been appointed as member of the programme committee on ‘Long term care’, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health.

14-15 November 2017
A former student of Wim, Dr. Stynke Castelein, was appointed as professor at the University of Groningen. The title of her inaugural speech was ‘Recovery from serious mental illness’. Being back in Groningen is always worthwhile, especially after 4 years. Still, the old student cafés exist and the hotels become better.  

2 November 2017
We have sent in our abstracts for the Annual World Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology  2017 to be held in Japan begin December 2017. Within the Forum on Social Gerontology and Elderly Health Care, Wim will present outcomes of a research project, entitled:  An Ageing Society a More Happy Society?  Marinela will present an analysis on factors affecting healthy ageing, based on 31 European countries, entitled: How Do Social Policy Affect Healthy Ageing?

31 October 2017
During our stay in Romania our house in Spaubeek was visited by not invited neither welcome ‘guests’. They tried to break into our house twice, smashing two windows. Rather a shock when coming home. The police did not find any traces.

28-30 October 2017
Travelling from home to home (Craiova-Spaubeek) we experienced a pleasant, quiet drive through Hungary, Austria, and Germany. We stayed in a recommended pension in Tatabanya and a well-known hotel in Geiselwind. In both places the diner was excellent.

17-23 October 2017
In a few days, it is predicted the summer comes to an end and rain will come (at last!). So, time to prepare the Craiova garden for the winter and to start to store the ‘summer equipment’. To do so, Wim first build a small storage place back in the garden.

13-14 October 2017
After the most of the grapes was tapped for fermentation, the residue is kept for its own fermentation process. After 20 days the process was ready to distillate ‘tuica’ (Romanian grappa). We ‘produced’ 60 litters of high quality.

10 October 2017
Both of us were invited to participate in the World Congress Geriatrics and Gerontology 2017 with the theme: Moving towards an era of Healthy Ageing, to be held in Japan. We still have some questions about the theme, but the invitation fits very well in our ongoing research and recent publications.

6 October 2017
Nr 4 (2017) of PALIATIA has been published: see  Wim wrote the Editorial ‘Access and image of palliative care: a celebration?’

1-5 October 2017
After restoring our summer cottage inside (we are very satisfied with the result and proud) we prepared the garden and the house for the winter. We cannot wait to stay there next summer.

26-27 September 2017
Some time ago we decided to redesign our offices in Craiova, but not before now we could not find the time.  We have now two well equipped, separated places to write articles, to execute scientific analysis, and to fulfill our professional duties.

25 September 2017
Our article ‘Do changes in welfare and health policy affect life satisfaction of older people in Europe?’ is published in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research (see: )

21-23 September 2017
In two days we picked are grapes in Craiova, not all but enough to start making wine, three different kinds. After smashing the grapes and resting for one day, we extracted the most for fermentation: 80 litter italianer, 30 litters chardonnay, 25 litters moldova.

18 September 2017
Our article ‘How to prevent preventable death?’ is published in ‘SM Preventive Medicine and Public Health’ (see: )

6-9 September 2017
The heat continues as does the work in Varvor. We started cleaning the ‘summer cottage’, making a parking place for the car, and designing the garden connected directly to the cottage. We are not ready yet for the opening party! But we invited already the first guests (Sebi, Veronica, Corina, Dan) for it during a nice dinner at Galaxy on Saturday evening.

5 September 2017
After 4 months maturing on oak, we bottled our wine Crama Casa Alba 2016. We counted to need 100 bottles, but we came 50 too short. Fortunately, we saved enough 2 liter plastic bottles. Next step is to clean the oak barrel and to prepare it for the new wine. 

31 August – 2 September 2017
We deserve a break. Together with Dragos and Olga we made a wonderful trip along and on the Danube around the ‘Iron Gate’.  First, we stopped in Strehaia to visit the Monastery ‘Sfante Treime’ from 15th century. We stayed for one night in Eselnita (Pension ‘Septembrie’ recommended!) and went with the catamaran through ‘cazanele mici si mare’ impressed by the views, the nature, tabula Traiana, and Decebal. The next day we passed the border (a dam in the Danube between Orsova and Turnu Severin) and drove through Djerdap National Park (visiting Lepenski Vir and Golubac castle) to Pension Dunavski Raj (in the woods close to Golubac). The next day we took the Serbian countryside, having lunch in Negotin and back – taking the 2nd dam in the Danube – to Craiova. It was a real break (see also 'Personal').

21 August 2017
After weeks of hard work in the heat of Varvor – building, reconstructing, replacing, and painting our ‘summer cottage’ – we felt some rain drops. Another week to go with cool weather (about 30 C) and we may have an opening party!  And then we need a short holiday on our holiday.

14 August 2017
Together with our colleague Prof. Ioana Dana Alexa (University of Iasi) we executed a study, including 31 European countries, to analyse the effect of changes in welfare and health policy (because of the economic crisis) in European countries on life satisfaction of older European citizens. It is accepted now for publication in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research.

4 August 2017
The heat wave (canicula) does not stop. We are now 4 weeks in Oltenia and we had one day with 25 degrees Celsius and a good rain shower. The last days the temperatures reach 37 to 38. So, today the siesta has been introduced! Work until 13.00, lunch and ….. we show ourselves outside not before 17.30. Another life style, not bad!

3 August 2017
After years of searching for a suitable place to be buried, we have ordered to construct a grave for both of us in Varvor de Sus, behind the graves of Marinela's grandfather, grandmother, and over-grandmother (see also personal). A place on the edge of a forest with a beautiful view over a valley with a lake at the end. Today the grave is ready. We will enjoy that view as long as we can!

23 July 2017
Today we visited Cetate and Maglavit in South Dolj and Vidin in Bulgaria with Dragos and Olga as guides. All three places are located next to the Danube. The monastery of Maglavit is the Fatima for Romanian orthodox. Vidin was an ancient Celtic settlement known as Dunonia and fortified by the Romans, called Bononia. The Baba Vida Fortress, built from the 10th to the 14th century, is the main landmark. Cetate - an old, rarely used port on the Danube – is well-known for Port Cultural Cetate: a place on the banks of the Danube to enjoy art and gastronomy (and do not forget the wines) (see also personal).

19 July 2017
Today we started making the garden in Varvor de Sus accessible. A job that will take several weeks.

11-14 July 2017
It has taken some time and more energy to make the garden in Craiova accessible. In the coming weeks we will let the pickled weed - a mountain - slowly disappear.

7-9 July 2017
In the course of the morning we started our journey to Craiova. Driving on Friday in Germany means many delays. Neumarkt in der Obernpfalz brought us the rest we needed after 8 hours. The trip the next day to Arad was even more exhausting. But on Sunday afternoon at 13.00 we were in Craiova: 32 degrees Celsius. Pfff ...

24 June 2017
Today, for the first time, we are participated in the annual members' meeting of the ‘Vereniging Rembrandt. An interesting meeting with well presented, interesting plans for the coming years and afterwards, a visit to 'De Stijl' in the municipality of The Hague.

12-22 June 2017
Scientific knowledge is important, but its application in practice is not self-evident. For a profession as a nursing science this is of great importance. Wim visited 5 research programs together with colleagues to learn how to implement new knowledge and interventions. One thing is evident: it is not easy.

9 June 2017
Today, we join the meeting of the nurses network, build around the programme “From Knowledge to Action II” in Utrecht. The programme is promoting the quality of nursing and care by carrying out research, developing and testing innovations, and implementation and guaranteeing of improvements and innovations in daily practice. Today, the future research agenda will be discussed.

12-30 May 2017
We used some time not only to check our health condition, but also to ‘repair’ what was needed. After some discomfort we feel better again. Time to return to ‘work’.

30 April -2 May 2017
Leaving Craiova at 9 o’clock in the morning (Romanian time) arriving in Mosonmagyarovar (called Ad Flexum by the Romans) at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A historical town near the Danube with thermal water  and on the international cycle path (EuroVelo No 6). Interesting place to visit. Next day we stopped in Bessenbach situated in natural park Steigerwald and stayed in a real guest-house. We arrived the next day in Spaubeek, shortly after noon.  We had a speedy quiet travel.

18 April 2017
Wim published a blog on respect for fundamental values of other people, wondering why Dutch politicians put on EUthanasia  (see:

15 April 2017
Paste fericit. Eastern time has started in Oltenia; so time for shopping, slaughtering the lam and meeting family for dinner and small talks. It takes about a week. This is Oltenia too.

10-12 April 2017
With hard work and ending with a lot of scratches we restored – with help of Mihai – the fences in Varvor de Sus, which were destroyed by 2 cows and 1 horse of the neighbor to feed them for free. We pay the damage and the police drinks coffee with the neighbor. This is Oltenia.

8 April 2017
Various new restaurants – good ones they say – have recently been opened in Craiova. Last night we tried CRAFT together with Olga and Dragos; a good one indeed.

28 March 2017
PALIATIA will publish an empirical study on euthanasia and physician assisted suicide into the practice of palliative care, raising the question ‘what is the connection’. The issue raises various questions. Wim works on an editorial to analyze: is there a bridge between palliative care and physician assisted suicide?

21-23 March 2017
Cleaning the fields in rural Varvor requires another work style. Pruning, cutting and then raking and burning are the first steps. The little goats curiously climbing all over and the sun burns from morning to evening. The first stork has arrived and makes his nest for the bride, impatiently waiting.

16-17 March 2017
Weeding, pruning grapes, planting garlic, onions, beans are the first task in Craiova. We enjoy it every time again. It is an unbelievable atmosphere almost downtown.

12-14 March 2017
Spring already arrived in Oltenia, so time to leave the Netherlands for ‘gardening’ over there. A pleasant drive brought us to the cold, small Austrian town Haag am Hausruck for a good beer, diner and sleep. The next day we arrived in Arad and felt the spring. The next day we arrived in sunny, warm Craiova, but the very cold winter of this year had damaged our water supply system. So, it is not only gardening.

3 March 2017
Outcomes of the ‘Between Knowing and Doing II’ research programme come bit by bit available for education and practice in the field of nursing and caring. Wim worked on a plan for implementation of these outcomes to optimise to use of these new findings and to improve the quality of care. Such implementation is part of the work of the researchers and an essential task for organisations of care professionals. Such new findings also need to be available for education in caring and nursing.

27 February 2017
Marinela and Wim were invited to participate in an EU call on promoting human rights and social diversities in Europe. Today was the last day to send in the proposal. So, we did together with colleagues from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary. We will see or it will be ‘different or indifferent?’

10 February 2017
We started a new research project on well-being in old age, analysing data from 31 European countries. Especially, we are looking for the impact of national policy measures on life satisfaction of older citizens.

27 January 2017
We are proud that JAMDA not only published our manuscript, but proposed to publish it as soon as possible because it was considered as an excellent and important study by the Editorial team. Judge yourself; read How Important Are Health Care Expenditures for Life Expectancy? A Comparative, European Analysis

24 January 2017
During the 13th meeting of the committee  ‘Between Knowing and Doing II’  (a national research programme on nursing which Wim chairs) we as committee discussed how to realise ‘doing’. There is (always?) the tension between investing in science and doing in practice. We are optimistic to find a way.

15 January 2017
Amazing how children (or do you only notice that for your grandchildren) develop. It was indeed some time ago, but still we (grandmother Marinela and  grandfather Wim) were impressed by the appearance and spirit of both Steef and Lou (and their parents). Wim, evidently, enjoyed most playing with them: there were three kids in the room.

12 January 2017
The Societal Council of TOPICS-MDS, which Wim is chairing, did meet in Utrecht to discuss the agenda for 2017. TOPICS-MDS is an unique dataset, containing data of 43.000 older citizens and 9000 informal carers. The council considers as an important task to stimulate that the data should be used – directly or indirectly – to support the persons who delivered them, i.e. Dutch older citizens and their informal carers.


Marinela en Wim write colums and comments on various subjects, related with health care. Some are in Dutch, other in Romanian. Most of the Romanian ones are published in Viata Medicala. Recent ones include:

- Waar investeren in gezondheidszorg? (11 November 2016)ănătate.html*articleID_12503-dArt.html

- Liever happy dan healthy oud worden (Medisch Contact 6 april 2016)

- EU burger niet gezonder of wijzer, wel armer. (Trouw dinsdag 21 October 2014)