Dutch citizens increasingly think that long-term care should be mainly the responsibility of the government, researchers find

The Dutch long-term care insurance used to be one of the most comprehensive public insurances for long-term care needs in Europe. A deep reform is in place since 2015, which devolves the competence for long-term care to the municipalities with the aim to reduce the costs. This reform culminates a series of government initiatives in the previous decade aiming to shift the care responsibility from the government to the families.

Despite those successive policy changes, recent research lead by Thijs van den Broek, from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, shows that care beliefs and ideals, far from shifting away from the government, have actually become more reliant on it.

FamiliesAndSocieties logo smallVan den Broek’s research identifies four types of care ideals in the Netherlands:

  1. Warm-modern: care should be provided by both the family and the government; strong belief in gender equality when it comes to earning money.
  2. Cold-modern: care should be primarily a task for the government; strongest belief in gender equality when it comes to earning money.
  3. Traditional: care is mainly the responsibility of the family; belief that earning money is not only men’s responsibility.
  4. Cold-traditional: care is mainly a government responsibility; strong belief that earning money is men’s responsibility.

The research shows that, between 2002 and 2011, a majority of Dutch citizens have moved from a warm-modern to a cold-modern care ideal: they believe that caring for older relatives should be mainly government’s responsibility, in a framework of strong gender equality beliefs. This runs against the increased family involvement that policies aimed to achieve.

You can learn more about this research by reading the digest published by Population Europein the framework of the European project Families and Societies, of which AGE Platform is a partner.

For more information on the Families and Societies project, please contact Borja Arrue Astrain,borja.arrue@age-platform.eu

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