Denmark’s Care Offerings 

Read a message from Home Instead COO International Markets Mike Boyer on Denmark's care offerings.

Af Mike Boyer, COO International Markets, Home Instead

I 2042 vil én ud af fire danskere være over 65 år. På tværs af kloden er der forskellige traditioner forbundet med ældrepleje, men det er bemærkelsesværdigt, hvordan to værdier går igen: Ældre bør modtage værdig pleje af høj kvalitet, og de fleste af os ønsker at leve så meget af vores tredje alder som muligt i eget hjem.

Ældre medborgere symboliserer mange af de begivenheder, der har fundet sted i tidligere generationer: De har arbejdet hårdt, passet deres familier og sikret at vi, der kommer efter dem, har de bedst mulige forudsætninger for et godt liv. Efter et langt liv med pligter og ansvar fortjener vores ældre mere end nogen anden befolkningsgruppe den rette omsorg og pleje. Det afgørende spørgsmål er derfor, hvordan samfundet i fremtiden også kan tilbyde omsorg at høj kvalitet til de mange flere danskere, der vil få brug for det?

Ubehagelige sandheder under en pandemi

2020 har været et år fyldt med ubehageligheder, og den globale COVID-19-pandemi har på tragisk vis tydeliggjort, at plejesystemerne i flere lande, herunder Danmark, er under enormt pres. Plejehjemsbeboere og personale er fortsat blandt pandemiens særligt udsatte og oplever stigninger i både sygdomstilfælde og dødstal.

Flere undersøgelser peger på, at ældre borgere foretrækker at blive i deres eget hjem så længe som overhovedet muligt. Det er et relativt simpelt ønske, som samfund verden over bør være i stand til at imødekomme. Hjemmepleje er en løsning, der kan aflaste de offentlige tilbud, men det skal gøres rigtigt for at blive en succes.

Demens som eksempel

Ifølge serviceloven har ældre borgere ret til selv at vælge plejehjem, men iflg. en undersøgelse foretaget for Sundhedsstyrelsen er kendskabet til det frie leverandørvalg faldet, og det bør derfor betragtes som en selvfølge, at borgerne og deres familier opnår et øget kendskab til det frie plejehjemsvalg og at den pleje de modtager er af den højest mulige kvalitet.

Når det angår demens, opstår der samtidig ofte udfordringer i gråzonen mellem hjemmehjælp og hjemmesygepleje. I dag lever omkring 89.000 danskere med demens, og op imod 400.000 er nære pårørende til demensramte. Netop demens kan i de tidlige stadier være svært at identificere, acceptere og tilpasse sig til for såvel den ældre som pårørende. Der er en risiko for, at den demensramte bliver sendt til et plejehjem tidligere end nødvendigt. At flytte på plejehjem kan være en traumatisk oplevelse på flere forskellige stadier i livet – især særligt for dem, der ældes med demens, hvor forandringer i rutiner og omgivelser kan medføre angst og uro. Det er en blandt flere grunde til, at privat hjemmepleje et relevant alternativ eller supplement til de offentlige plejehjem.

Et spørgsmål om valg og værdighed

Pleje af personer med demens kræver særlige kompetencer og anerkendelse af det hele menneske med fokus på personlige behov og udvikling af relationer. Træning i demenspleje af høj kvalitet kan give bedre kommunikation mellem plejer og den demensramte, reduceret demensrelateret adfærd, øget jobtilfredshed og fastholdelse af medarbejdere.

Effektiv træning skal fokusere på det demensramte menneskes værdighed fremfor diagnose og symptomer. Med den rette træning og involvering af pårørende kan vores medborgere leve i tryghed og med værdighed i eget hjem i længere tid, mens de gennem dialog og hyppige besøg nænsomt forberedes på et muligt skift til et plejehjem.

Med en forventet stigning i antallet af ældre danskere de kommende år i kombination med flere tilfælde af demens, bliver behovet for specialiseret hjemmepleje større og vigtigere. For at give de ældre den kvalitetspleje de har gjort sig fortjent til gennem et langt liv, er det afgørende, at ældre og deres pårørende kender til det frie valg af plejeleverandør, de er berettiget til og bruger det valg aktivt.


 

Home care can help ease the burden on the public healthcare system during the pandemic

By Mike Boyer, COO International Markets, Home Instead

 

In 2042, one in four Danish citizens will be over the age of 65. There are different traditions associated with care across the globe, but it is striking how the same two values apply everywhere: Elders receive dignified and high-quality care and many of us wish to age-in-place at home.

Elders are a symbol of many events and developments during the previous generation: They have worked hard, taken care of their families and ensured that we who take over after them have had the best possible conditions and possibilities available to us. After a long life with duties and responsibilities no one deserve to be taken well care of more than our senior citizens. The question that remains is how society can continue to provide care with emphasis on quality for the many Danes that will need it in the years to come?

Unpleasant truths during a pandemic

2020 has been a year filled with unpleasantries and the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has tragically emphasized that care systems in several countries, including Denmark, is under enormous pressure. Nursing homes have been some of the hot zones with spikes in disease cases and death tolls during the pandemic.

Many surveys point to that elders prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. This is a relatively simple wish that societies around the world should be able to meet. Home care is one solution that can help ease public offerings, but it needs to be done right in order to be successful.

Dementia as an example

According to law, Danish senior citizens have the right to choose their own care provider, but according to research made for the Danish Health Authority the knowledge of this free choice is decreasing. Elders and their family members’ awareness of the free choice must increase and the care that they receive should be of the highest quality possible.

In the case of dementia, challenges often arise in the grey zone between home care and home nursing. Today, approximately 89,000 Danes live with dementia, a state which in its early stages can be difficult to identify and to accept and adjust to as an elder and as a family member. There is a risk that the citizen is sent to a facility earlier than necessary. Moving to a facility from the home can be a traumatic experience at any stage of life and especially for those ageing with Dementia where change to routine and surroundings may cause increased anxiety. This is why a private home care is a relevant alternative or supplement to public nursing homes.

A question of choice and dignity

Caring for people with dementia requires a professional skill set and acknowledgement of the whole person through attention to special needs and relationship-building. High-quality dementia care training can lead to improved quality of life and communication between caregivers and people living with dementia, a reduction in dementia-related behaviors and an increase in job satisfaction and staff retention. Effective training must focus on the dignity of the person with dementia rather than the diagnosis and symptoms of the disease. With the proper training and involvement of relatives, the citizen can live safely and with dignity at home for a longer time while slowly being prepared for a possible later stay at a nursing home through visits and dialogue.

With an aging population in the years to come and more cases of dementia the need for specialized home care become ever more important. It is paramount that elders and their family members are aware of the free choice of (home) care provider and use it in order to give them the quality care that they have earned through a long life.

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