ANBO and KBO-PCOB senior citizen associations note that older people have to wait longer for a place in the nursing home. Both are afraid that this will lead to more frequent crisis situations.

NU.nl investigated waiting times in nursing home care. For this we spoke with the ANBO and KBO-PCOB senior citizen associations. Both elderly unions see that the waiting lists in nursing home care are increasing.

Especially for people who are waiting for a place of their preference and do not want to be placed somewhere else or already in a nursing home that is not their preference, the waiting times are increasing according to the unions. These people are called 'not actively waiting' or 'wish-waiting'.

See also: Waiting list nursing home care is growing again: 'Pressure on informal caregivers'

Wishing wrong term

According to Manon Vanderkaa, director of senior citizen organization KBO-PCOB, the term wish-waiting is wrong. "Wish-waiting suggests a form of non-commitment. While the situation with these people really is that they need nursing home care." This is confirmed by Lianne den Haan, director of the ANBO association for the elderly. "You often see that if people cannot get to their place of preference, they will not temporarily move away from another nursing home, but will continue to live at home."

Senior citizens' associations follow more crisis situations due to waiting times

According to den Haan, crisis situations occur more often because the elderly often continue to live in an unsuitable house. "This happens, for example, if someone falls down the stairs. Often an older person ends up in the hospital and it is determined there that it is irresponsible to send someone back home. A place in a nursing home has to be found urgently, sometimes it stays someone because of this unnecessarily long time in a hospital or someone is placed in a nursing home far from family. "

Vanderkaa says that due to the long waiting times, informal caregivers, who in many cases are also elderly, are burdened very heavily. "Someone only chooses the nursing home if this is really necessary and only then does someone come on a waiting list, so when it actually no longer works at home."

Why is there not enough space?

Why are waiting lists actually rising? Both elderly unions explain that in total there are more and more elderly people in the Netherlands, and that is why more elderly people in need of intensive care.

Den Haan explains that nursing homes are sometimes really full and physically have no more room for extra clients. "But staff shortages or money shortages also sometimes prevent someone from going to the nursing home of his or her preference."

'Home care has an important singling function'

According to den Haan, part of the solution is good home care. "Due to late investment, there is really not enough staff. This means that an important signaling function is lost. Problems such as malnutrition and the risk of falling are noticed too late, which means that people sometimes need nursing home care sooner than otherwise. The shortages in home care have an effect on the entire care chain, also on the longer waiting lists at the nursing homes. "

Both elderly unions also argue for more forms of housing for the elderly between fully independent living and the nursing home. Den Haan states that housing types, in which the elderly are encouraged to look at each other, can have a preventive effect and prevent crisis situations.