Most frail pensioners still in the dark about home care rule changes

cleaning the floorSome three-quarters of frail pensioners who rely on outside assistance to remain in their own homes have not yet spoken to a council official about changes in the rules, the Volkskrant says on Friday.

Local councils took over responsibility for home care services from January 1 but have been given less cash to do the job.

According to research by pensioner lobby group ANBO, most people who get care services at home have not yet talked to officials about what the new situation will mean for them.

All pensioners who have a home help or get other services are supposed to have a ‘kitchen table chat’ with a council official to assess if friends, family or neighbours could take over some duties.


Of the 25% who have spoken to officials, 32% say they are not happy about the outcome, while 37% are pleased, the survey of 1,400 pensioners shows.

‘Pensioners feel overwhelmed in such a meeting. Some are embarrassed and pretend they are fitter and stronger,’ said ANBO director Liane den Haan. The ANBO has drawn up a list of tips to help pensioners better deal with officials.

‘Our research shows there is a real need for this,’ Den Haan told the Volkskrant.

Junior healthcare minister Martin van Rijn has given assurances that no one will be deprived of the care they currently receive.

In addition, a court at the end of last year ruled against a council which wanted to stop paying for home help services for an elderly couple.

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