Municipalities sound the alarm bell about the bill for helping older residents. The costs rise enormously while the income falls. A million-dollar threat is imminent, signals VNG municipal umbrella.
More and more elderly people turn to their municipality for help in their daily lives. Municipalities offer such services for vulnerable residents through the Social Support Act (WMO). This concerns, for example, personally tailored facilities such as domestic help, home adjustments, and daycare.
A new cost forecast from the VNG, based on a few large municipalities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Amersfoort, and Apeldoorn), shows that in 2024 many thousands of elderly people will make use of WMO support in these cities. As a result, the costs for the municipalities involved will increase by around seven percent annually in the coming five years.
The causes: aging, policy to let people live at home longer, less availability of informal carers and the introduction of a new subscription rate for support. Because from this year on, the government will no longer look at income or capital when calculating the personal contribution for home help. Everyone pays a maximum of 17.50 euros per four weeks.
The VNG has always opposed the introduction of this system and now it appears why. The number of clients has risen sharply in the past six months, partly due to the advantageous fixed rate. As a result, spending increased by an average of over seven percent. At the same time, municipalities see a reduction in WMO income from their own contributions to 30 percent on an annual basis.
The municipality umbrella now calls on Minister De Jonge (Health) to look together at measures to ‘keep support and care affordable’. A spokesperson for the minister said that the pocket money for the municipalities already takes into account inflation, rising health care spending and demographic developments, such as the aging population.
ANBO, the elderly organization, is not surprised that municipalities see that their WMO budget is ‘threatening to fly out of the corner’. Director-director Liane den Haan. At ANBO, we believe that we must invest much more in prevention so that we prevent older people from increasingly requiring care. That is why we have been arguing for years for sufficient and suitable housing for the elderly. ”
Elderly care is a growing issue that shouldn’t be taken for granted. While more and more citizens are purchasing life insurance for elderly, there is a need for better facilities to take care of the growing number of seniors.