Councils to spend less on elderly next year

Union warns that care will suffer

At least 38 councils will spend less on the elderly in 2015. According to a survey carried out by Epinion for the trade union FOA, only four of the nation’s 70 councils will actually increase the amount of funds they spend on taking care of the elderly.

“This will result in a decline in the quality of care and standards,” Dennis Kristensen, a spokesperson for FOA, told DR Nyheder.

Kristensen noted that although councils are actually increasing their spending on older residents, the number of people taking a slice of the pie is increasing.

“A small part of the explanation is that the elderly will take more of a hand in their own care and get rehabilitation to maintain their skills and ability, but the real truth is that the councils are lowering their level of support,” said Kristensen. 

Councils disagree
KL, the national association of councils, disagrees with Kristensen’s assessment.

“The explanation is that more attention is being focused on training older people so they can do more on their own, whether it's focus on technology or generally improve  their health,” KL spokesperson Morten Mando told DR Nyheder.

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Mando said a net reduction of funds is not evidence that less focus is being put on elderly care.

“No, it is not,” said Mando. "Today’s older residents are generally in better health than they were ten years ago, so councils need to focus their efforts on those most in need.”

Too many cuts
The Finance Ministry allocated one billion kroner to elderly care last year, and local authorities have subsequently been criticised for making more cuts than they needed to. 

Kristensen wants to see politicians put more demands on the councils to care for the elderly.