More young Danes require help from the municipalities with waking up in the morning, tidying up their apartments, making it to appointments in time and doing their grocery shopping in the evening, reveals a new analysis by the interest group Local Government Denmark (KL).
Meanwhile, everyday assistance for the mentally-ill and cognitively-challenged is costing Danish municipalities billions of kroner every year – an ever-growing challenge.
Last year, some 41,651 Danes took advantage of the so-called social and educational support – an increase of 72 percent compared to 2009.
Young people under 30 account for 27 percent of those who receive the support compared to 22 percent in 2009.
Increasing societal demands
According to Lotte Henriksen, the head of the welfare department at Aarhus Municipality, a growing number of vulnerable citizens have been getting help with tasks such as learning a morning routine, getting organised at home, transport to work, paying bills and more.
Professor Kjeld Høgsbro from the department of sociology and social work at Aalborg University believes the increasing demands of education and employment challenge a larger group of less psychologically robust and cognitively challenged people than in the past.
“Some of them have serious problems at home. They suffer from anxiety, a lack of social skills or are simply lonely, and they therefore find it difficult to cope,” Høgsbro told Berlingske.
Many suffer from ADHD
According to KL, the Danish municipalities spent a total of 3.3 billion kroner on social and educational support in 2012, while the amount increased to 5.8 billion last year.
Their analysis also shows that a third of those who receive the support are in contact with hospital psychiatry departments and suffer from the likes of schizophrenia, depression or substance use disorders.
Almost 7 percent of these citizens have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – numbers that are expected to increase in the coming years.