Do community-dwelling Dutch older adults receive the care that they need?
Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr. 2021 Oct 29;52(4). doi: 10.36613/tgg.1875-6832/2021.04.03. eCollection 2021 Oct 29.
Background Aged care homes have been substituted by homecare to reduce the increasing Dutch healthcare costs. Ageing in place has led to a growing demand on formal and informal caregivers. The aim of this study was to examine: 1) the trends in formal and informal care, 2) whether care needs of community-living older adults are met, and 3) the association between care needs and quality of life (QoL). Methods Baseline data were used from 'The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey - Minimum DataSet', which combines 54 studies conducted in 2008-2014. 12,735 participants met the inclusion criteria (age ≥65 years, living independently, needing assistance with washing, dressing, medication or household chores). Proportions of participants receiving formal or informal care were reported and associations with QoL were examined using ordinal (self-rated QoL) and linear (EQ-5D) regression. Results Formal care decreased from 75% to 63% and informal care increased from 16% to 28% between 2009 and 2013 (P < .001). Approximately one in four participants received no formal or informal care. Receiving no formal care was associated with a better QoL (self-rated QoL OR=1.39, CI=[1.251-1.544]; EQ-5D regression coefficient=0.038 CI=[0.023-0.053]). Conclusion The shift from formal to informal care together with the unmet care needs of community-living older adults in the Netherlands underlines the need for more support and a higher demand on informal caregivers.