Quarter of the population does volunteer: “My life is on pause’

About a quarter of the adult Dutch allows for a partner, family, friend or neighbor. The number of carers is growing. How is the caregiver?

Wiebke Göetjes (57) from italy is opera, zangcoach and caregiver to her 86-year-old mother, who last year the diagnosis of vascular dementia mixed with alzheimer’s disease. After a lag phase of a few years, where more and more tasks in Göetjes aandienden, she cares for a year now full time for her mother.

Mantelzorgen often starts with a small job and spreads silently and quickly made a lot of tasks. “It took my whole life over.”

“I am glad that I got this for my mother can do”

In the beginning you are totally desperate and defiant, she says. “But in the course of the time it is calmer. I have accepted it. This is my life now. I am glad that I got this for my mother can do.”

Since 2 december is her mother recorded in a nursing home, but due to problems with the nursing goes Göetjes still every day to her mother to care for her. She is there from the afternoon and brings her mother around midnight to bed. “Then I will give her a nachtkus and I tell her that she is my best friend.”

“We express affection to each other, I’m grateful for that.”
Wiebke Göetjes, caregiver

Since Göetjes for her mother, there are a lot of barriers disappeared. “We express much more affection to each other. I’m grateful for that.”

Still, she hopes that this situation even ten years. “I love my mother and wants her to not lose, but my life is now on pause. I love this not eternally full.”

4.4 million people care for a loved one

As Göetjes there are many. In the Netherlands 4.4 million people for a neighbor. 850.000 people do that, just as Goëtjes, the long-term. That means that they are more than three months per year for more than eight hours per week to work with informal care. Those numbers seem only to grow.

At this time, there are fifteen potential caregivers for every elderly, but due to the ageing of the elderly longer at home, staff shortages in the regular care and the pull of the countryside to the city predict research institutes for 2040 and a decrease to six potential caregivers per elderly.

Facts and figures

  • One in four adults in the Netherlands provides for a neighbour
  • 58 percent of self-employed entrepreneurs, there is by the informal financial deteriorated
  • Since 1 July 2015 the compassionate leave extended, and you can also care leave for someone other than your partner or child, such as a friend, brother or sister
  • One in eight employees combine work with informal care
  • 40 percent of the working carers feel zwaarbelast or even overloaded
  • 3.865.000 carers give more than three months help
  • Of 750,000 carers provide both long-term and resource-intensive, assistance
  • One in five self-employed persons is caregiver
  • 11 percent of the working caregivers have daily or weekly work pause in order to respond
  • The largest group of family carers is between 45 and 65 years
  • Source: Mezzo

Largest part of allows for a parent or parent in law

Of all carers provides 44 percent for a parent or parent in law. Other caregivers provide for their brother or sister, friend, acquaintance or their own child.

Susanne Abrahams (48) from Spankeren is caregiver for her two sons. Milan of seventeen and Tristan of ten years old. Milan has ADHD/ODD, which ensures that he has concentration problems, incentives are difficult to handle and very aggressive. Tristan has the diagnosis of ADHD/ODD/ASD, which means that he is also autistic.

“It comes to very basic things, I must constantly, and they think they are.”
Susanne Abraham, caregiver

“There is so much more care is needed than what you see outside,” says Abrahams. As a mother, she will often hear that you do once for your children, but, according to her, this is much more than just parenting.

So she needs her children to remind to stand, to wash and to brush their teeth. “I need just not to say that they their ass off have to swipe. Even though Milan almost eighteen, I should be planning to make him a constant remind of what will arrive the next day. It comes to very basic things, but I constantly have to for them to think. Five steps forward.”

Two or three times in the week I’m doing something for myself

To itself not at all to lose, try Abraham on free moments especially things to do for himself. As she sings in bands, she plays softball and she is a volunteer at a local radio station. “So am I in the week about two or three times something for myself to do it.”

People around her ask her sometimes or they don’t prefer ‘normal’ children had, but she is clearly. “I would not want anything else. This makes them who they are.”

The Dutch magazine Margriet and MantelzorgNL been a petition started to a mantelzorgvrije week to make it possible for all carers. This, they want to make sure that the caregivers for a week on holiday without any hassles. Sign the petition here.

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