Flemish nursing homes need 7,000 extra rooms by 2030, says umbrella organisation
Flanders' nursing homes will need an extra 7,000 rooms by 2030 to cope with an ageing population, while senior citizens who are independent enough will no longer be accepted, Margot Cloet, head of umbrella organisation Zorgnet-Icuro, told Gazet Van Antwerpen on Monday.
The rapid ageing of the Flemish population - there are 220,000 people over the age of 85 today and will be almost 300,000 in 10 years' time and 350,000 by 2040 - requires additional measures. Nursing home beds should no longer be used by seniors who are still independent enough, according to Zorgnet-Icuro.
The organisation wants to move the least needy people out of nursing homes. Today, they make up 15 per cent of residents in nursing homes. "These people can be cared for by other forms of elder care, such as home and family care," says Cloet.
The biggest acceleration in the ageing process is expected from 2030. According to Cloet, Flanders needs to start preparing today. "The Flemish government needs to decide now because care providers need to be able to plan," she said. "This is no longer about political decisions or priorities. Making decisions is no longer an option, it is a necessity."
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