SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The percentage of people over the age of 85 who are still living independently at home went up from 65% to 72% between 2012 and 1016, according to research by the Dutch healthcare authority NZa.
The government has been actively encouraging people to stay at home since 2013, and the survey results show this is beginning have an effect, the NZa said.
In particular, the government has introduced new health checks for admittance to a home. Now, almost half of care home residents have some form of dementia, compared with just 25% in 2012.
There are some three million people over the age of 65 living in the Netherlands, but their number is set to grow to 4.5 million – or a quarter of the population – by 2040.
The over-65s currently account for almost half of all spending on healthcare, but most of that goes on the small group who live in residential homes.
Finance ministry research earlier this month showed that today’s pensioners in the Netherlands have more disposable income than in the past and their assets have increased due to soaring house price.
But even excluding home ownership, pensioners have more assets on average than the rest of the population.
Dutch pensioners are also well off when compared with other countries. Just 2.6% of Dutch pensioners are said to be poor, compared with 8.2% of households in general. (DutchNews)