Integral translation of "Kwetsbare ouderen"
The vast majority of older persons in the Netherlands feel healthy and happy
for a long time. A smaller group of mostly very elderly persons have become
dependent on care and support. It is in the transition between these two groups
that vulnerable older persons are found. At first sight, these persons appear
to be healthy and they also still feel well, which means that help is generally
sought or offered too late when health problems arise.
In some cases, it transpires after the event that admission to a care or nursing home could perhaps have been avoided if their vulnerability had been identified earlier and minor interventions could have helped them maintain their quality of life. How many vulnerable older persons are there in the Netherlands? Will their number increase markedly in the years ahead? This report presents the first national description of older persons in the Netherlands with multiple problems who are consequently at risk of becoming care-dependent within a few years and of losing their independence. This report provides a description for care professionals, policymakers, researchers and older persons themselves of what vulnerability in the final phase of life is and how it develops. This report also explores the question of what might protect older persons against vulnerability. It compares characteristics of the residential setting and lifestyle of vulnerable and healthy older persons. It also examines what care and support vulnerable older persons receive and which older persons do not receive any care or support. The report concludes with policy recommendations and a look to the future.