In 2019, 10,513,900 individuals in the Netherlands were reported to be living with chronic or long-term impairments, constituting a substantial 61.3% of the total population. Within the age group of 15 to 65 years, 6,229,100 people, equivalent to 55.8% of this demographic, reported experiencing some form of impairment. The majority of those affected (89%) grappled with motor impairments, with sensory impairments ranking as the second most prevalent (20%).
The year 2019 also witnessed approximately 5 million mantelzorgers (informal caregivers) in the Netherlands. Among these caregivers, 830,000 provided care classified as both long-term (more than 3 months) and intensive (more than 8 hours per week). Intriguingly, only a quarter of these informal caregivers identified themselves as such, while a substantial 460,000 informal caregivers expressed feelings of severe overwhelm.
Most informal caregivers were identified as female, aged 65 and above, and a significant portion provided care to their parents (in-law). The number of caregivers increased with age, as older individuals were more likely to find themselves in the position of caring for their ageing parents and/or partners.
Remarkably, only 29% of informal caregivers utilized any form of caregiving support. Although information and advice were the most commonly received forms of support, there was a notable gap in material and financial assistance, which many indicated was needed but not received. Since 2015, caregiving support has been organized and financed by municipalities. However, due to budget constraints, many cities have struggled to meet the set expectations in this domain. Moreover, there is a lack of awareness about available caregiving support measures, especially among caregivers with non-western migration backgrounds and those experiencing severe overwhelm. As a result, there is a pressing need to enhance communication efforts and proactively engage with these vulnerable groups.
The National Report provides a comprehensive portrayal of the landscape of informal care services and caregivers in the Netherlands for individuals aged 18 to 64. It outlines the needs and challenges faced by the YoungCare target group while offering practical support and examples of best practices. The report also includes the analysis of interviews involving six individuals with care needs and four caregivers, two of whom assumed dual roles as both caregivers and care receivers. Furthermore, three interviews were conducted with experts in the social domain, one of whom has care needs, while the other two provide informal care for their children.
Partner organizations from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Portugal collaborate to shed light on the often precarious situation of young adults requiring care and those dedicated to caring for them.
To delve into the comprehensive content of the Dutch national report, please visit: https://youngcare.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/YoungCare_NationalReport_Netherlands_Final.pdf