Families must be forced to help elderly relatives, say councils

Local councils must be given the power to ensure people needing long-term care first turn to family and friends for help, the local authority association says.

The VNG said in a note to junior health minister Martin van Rijn that the government’s planned overhaul of the residential care system can only be put into effect by forcing people to change the way they operate.

The government plans to stop paying for nursing care for all but the most seriously in need of help. It also plans to transfer responsibility for organising care to local councils. Instead people should turn to friends and family for help, Van Rijn has said.

According to the VNG, however, a certain level of compulsion will be needed to bring about this shift in attitudes.

The government plans include slashing 40% from the home nursing budget, with the loss of an estimated 30,000 jobs. The aim is to shave €1bn from government spending.

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