Long-term nursing home care in the Netherlands

W.J.A. van den Heuvel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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During the 1960s and 1970s, The Netherlands had one of the youngest populations in Western Europe. In fact, a significant increase in the proportion of elderly in the population will not begin until after the year 2010. Despite this relatively late aging of the population, the Dutch government developed a policy on aging at an early stage, with particular attention to institutional care for the elderly. This move resulted in a high proportion of elderly living in institutions. In 1982, 3 per cent of the 65 + population lived in nursing homes and 9 per cent in homes for the elderly. These care institutions are organized on a non-profit basis and financed through direct or indirect taxation. Their population can be characterized as ''frail elderly''. However, homes for the elderly were originally considered to be housing facilities for the elderly. The costs related to institutional care increased considerably in the 1960s and 1970s, but through procedures like specific planning criteria and assessing the need for admission into a home for the elderly, the government has attempted to contain the costs. Until the end of the 1980s, these attempts had not been very successful. One of the more successful means of containing costs seems to be the stipulation of community long-term care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian journal on aging-Revue canadienne du vieillissement
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • nursing home
  • home for the elderly
  • demography
  • aging of population
  • health insurance
  • policy on aging

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