More and more Dutch people, now 4.4 million people, help a dependent loved one. They cook for a family member, take their loved one to the doctor, or take care of their elderly parents. They often find this a valuable thing to do, but sometimes providing informal care is also very difficult.
Since the corona pandemic, the desire to continue to live in one’s own home has increased sharply. Elderly people in nursing homes are isolated and are not allowed to receive visitors due to the risk of contamination. Most elderly people prefer to live in their own home for as long as possible, even if there are limitations. Climbing stairs is a common obstacle. A stairlift is then a commonly used tool to make floors accessible. This does not always have to be a new one. A used stairlift that meets safety standards is also available.
People who help take care of a family member in addition to their job generally find this to be reasonably easy to combine. Until informal care takes up more than eight hours a week and must be combined with work. People who do this are much less satisfied with their lives and experience great time pressure. This is evident from a study published by the Social and Cultural Planning Office.
The combination of work and informal care is an important social theme, because more and more people will have to combine work with care in the coming years. This is because the potential of informal carers is declining sharply, mainly due to the aging population. While fifteen people can still potentially care for the very elderly, that number will have dropped to six by 2040.
More than half of the people who provide intensive informal care and work indicate that the person in need only wants to be helped by him or her, because no one else is available. This concerns, for example, parents who have only one child and do not want professional help at home. This only want to be cared for by your own children is called ‘informal care clamp’.
More than 400,000 people work 52 hours a week together on work and intensive informal care. They work an average of 31 hours and also help 21 hours.