Forced admissions into care in the Netherlands

The number of elderly people being forced into care in the Netherlands is increasing. Many of those involved suffer from dementia or psychiatric problems, and are deemed to pose a danger to others, or to themselves. Where informal caregivers cannot cope, these people are admitted to an institution whether they are happy with this or not.

Over the past five years, the number of compulsory admissions among 60 to 80 year olds has increased by almost 25%, from 3,996 to 4,946. Over the same period forced admissions from the over-80s saw an increase of almost 40% — from 1,565 to 2,189 — according to data from the Council for the Judiciary.

One of the problems the country is facing is that hundreds of care and nursing homes have been closed since 2014. As a result, elderly people with psychiatric problems and dementia are living longer at home. This often leads to difficulties says Niels Mulder, psychiatrist and special professor of public and mental health care in Rotterdam. Informal caregivers do their utmost, but Mulder says they simply cannot offer the same care as a nursing home.

What about New Zealand? There is a growing cohort of elderly people with dementia and a shortage of available rooms in aged care facilities. Do we have any numbers available on this issue?

This text is put together based on information from an NRC newspaper article published on the 17th of March 2019.