Elderly in the Netherlands

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Elderly in the Netherlands

Writing on Topics
5/21/2012

Elderly in the Netherlands

Nowadays, the elderly is a serious issue around the world; nearly all industrial countries are facing enormous pressure about the coming of aging society. As one of the most advanced countries in the world, how about the situation of elderly in the Netherlands ? Can Dutch society provide the best care to the Baby Boomer?

Aging society, the Netherlands is on the way

“For the Netherlands, the aged society did already make its entrance.” said Mr. Martin Smalbrugge Who is head of the training center for residents in elderly care medicine (GERION) of the Department of Nursing Home Medicine. This is true; in 1990 12.8% of the Dutch population was over 65, while in 2000 this was 13.6 %, which is an increase of 250,000 elderly people. (College, 2003)Obviously, the Netherlands have become an aged society country. Furthermore, the Dutch aging population will increase dramatically in the future, it is expected that the percentage of people of over 65 will increase to 14.8% in 2010 and to 22.9% in 2040. (Elderly)

Aging society causes many challenges for Dutch economic and society. The first challenge is ageing society creates social and political pressures on social support systems, due to dramatic increase in the older retired population relative to the shrinking population of working ages. This would decrease the quantity of labor and investment in the Netherlands, and directly influence the increase of Dutch economy.

The other one is the prevalence of disability, frailty, and chronic diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, etc.) are expected to increase dramatically. As a result, there would be a huge burden for the Dutch society. For example, just the National Care for Elderly Program - Better quality of life for frail elderly persons through better quality of care which is tailored to the needs of the elderly persons, costs 80 million Euros. (The National Care for the Elderly Programme) Such a big amount of money into elderly care is like an invisible hand is impeding the increase of Dutch economy.

Although many challenges in the Netherlands are caused by the aging society, elderly people are not abandoned by society. Actually, The Netherlands is one of the best countries to live for aged people around the world. There are efficient welfare and healthcare systems, high quality medical equipment, and a number of special services for elderly.

How the Netherlands take care of Elderly

The Netherlands has a rounded care and welfare system, this system satisfies the need for care for every citizen, and there are specific aims to different groups. For elderly, the nation policy’s main goal in the National Background Report for The Netherlands is to let people in all circumstances and phases of life were independent and self-reliant as long as possible. It was essential to offer people who need care, such as the elderly, optimum choices and to improve the quality of their life (Knipscheer, 2004).

In order to achieve this goal, the Dutch government has made various efforts to set up an excellent elderly care system since 1900. However, in the early of 20 century It was unfair for aging people who are from lower social class in care and welfare system. For example, during that period it was hard for aging people from lower social class to get better health care, and find new job. In order to solved this problem, former government introduced reforms within the existing system of relief for both the poor and the elderly people which were 1912 Poor Law, and 1913 Old Age Pensions Act (College, 2003).

Nevertheless, now the Netherlands has constructed the best and most effective elderly care and welfare system in the world. The basic elderly care system in the Netherlands is the Traditional Three-Level-System. It includes three levels which are residential homes...
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