Alumni of the week

Creating meaningful moments

Hilde Helland


Managing Director

Manglerudhjemmet/UNICARE

Bachelor of Management in Healt Care Management

“The management training from BI provided me with the necessary tools to take the appropriate actions.”

Hilde Helland was tired of drab corridors and white walls. A football pub, restaurant and spa later, the Manglerud nursing home has undergone a complete transformation.

Hilde Helland was tired of drab corridors and white walls. A football pub, restaurant and spa later, the Manglerud nursing home has undergone a complete transformation.

The former Managing Director of the nursing home, specialising in the care of people with dementia, did not require any progress plans, project group or a big budget in order to take action. For Hilde Helland, who studied Health Care Management was important that the Manglerud nursing home became a stimulating and social place where nice memories could be created for both patients and their families.

– A lot of people consider nursing homes to be a sad situation, a place where you don’t want to end up yourself. I didn’t want it to be like that.

The solution was to engage everyone in this complete transformation. With some team spirit and a can-do attitude, Helland and her co-workers provided the residents with their very own football pub, restaurant, shop and spa. It was Helland’s wish that they not only change the surroundings, but also the possibilities offered to the residents. In an interview viewed by millions, Helland told of the magic moment when the residents were allowed to choose the activities they wanted to do themselves.

– Every Thursday they meet down in the pub. Each time they come here, their hip is suddenly not hurting anymore, they no longer require their walkers and they just bounce up on the tall bar stools and dangle their legs, as if they were still 20-year-olds. Then they buy drinks for the ladies at the table nearby. It’s moments like these that we want to encourage, she explains in the interview.

The organisation HR Norway, has praised Helland for how she has successfully created an amazing employer brand for her company, by transforming the Manglerud nursing home into what is likely “the best known institution of its kind in Scandinavia”. Over the last few years, professionals from Norway and Sweden, Japan and the Czech Republic have travelled to Manglerud to learn the secret behind the success. 

– Since then, we have created many more stimulating experiences for the residents. Many such moments help to create a nice day, and several nice days add up to a nice life. That’s what this is about. It’s just that simple.

Helland, who is originally trained as a nurse, is also a board member in the National Association of the Oslo Dementia Association. To her, it’s important that people can keep being themselves, whether you’re 25 or 80 years old.

The result? Happy residents, jubilant relatives, a staff sick leave that went down from 12-13 percent to below 3 and a 40 percent drop in medication use. Helland says the management training from BI provided her with the necessary tools to take the appropriate actions.

Hilde will engage in new entrepreneurial activity from January 2018.