Monday, April 13, 2015 - 18:26
Elderly home care inadequate, say doctors
Three quarters of doctors feel that elderly home care is insufficient, with half of all nurses agreeing, a survey published by broadcaster NOS revealed. The doctors and nurses see more and more single elderly people with poor nutrition, and say they get too little professional attention and home care. The Dutch government has restricted access to nursing homes over the past years, with a national push for more care given at home. Only elderly in need of around-the-clock care are entitled to access a nursing home, while others are supposed to receive professional care at home. Part of the idea behind the budget cut is to get family, friends and neighbours involved and to contribute more assistance. Caregivers are often overloaded with work and families that live far away. "In an ideal situation, the children would jump into the picture. If there are no children, the elder person needs to have enough funds to receive substantial care. People who do not have either, have a rough time," said one of the nurses. Even though a quarter of respondents think that older people value their independence at home, most of the doctors and nurses see a connection between living at home and shorter life expectancy. Doctors also link falling and mental degradation to poor nutrition and loneliness. Cuts in healthcare show in domestic help as doctors and nurses see that there is less daytime care and guidance provided by the municipality than expected. However, nurses who responded to the questionnaire are generally satisfied with the care and assistance they can give.