Cities not ready to provide elder care

Home care (Picture: Twitter/@AZAZorg)Home care (Picture: Twitter/@AZAZorg)

Municipalities still provide insufficient support to elderly people living independently at home, according to elderly interest groups Unie KBO and ANBO. They and dozens of other care organizations expressed their concerns in an open letter to the municipalities, NOS reports.

The municipalities were given this responsibility in January this year. ABNO investigated how 80 municipalities organize household help, family care support and adaptions to the home and found a number of problems. A main concern is the lack of information about the care municipalities offer. "If you do not know what care there is and how to apply, getting appropriate care becomes difficult", director Liane den Haan said, according to the broadcaster.

Another concern ABNO found is that municipalities are reluctant to do home modifications. Three quarters of the investigated municipalities have very strict rules on reimbursements for home modifications. According to ABNO, this forces people to move if their condition gets worse.

Municipalities usually have several schemes to support people with low incomes, but the group that falls just above the minimum is suffering under the high care costs, according to ANBO. "ANBO is getting more and more reports from people that avoid care because they cannot afford it.'

Unie KBO sounds a "care alarm" in a letter to Health State Secretary Martin van Rijn. "Frail elderly people are deprived of nursing, their houses are no longer cleaned. The physical safety of elderly citizens is at stake", director Manon Vanderkaa writes, citing the increase of elderly people ending up in burn centers and emergency rooms to prove her point.