Want to support Global Action on Aging?
children may be paid to care for elderly parents
August 28, 2003
small children in Norway already can receive special welfare payments if
they opt to keep their toddlers at home instead of sending them to
day-care centers. Now the concept may be extended to grown children who
keep their elderly parents at home.
The program, called kontantstoette,
or literally "cash support," is meant to compensate families
that don't use state-supported facilities. It also transfers
responsibility for family members to the families themselves.
In the wake of harsh criticism
over poor conditions in state-supported nursing homes, one Member of
Parliament from the Conservatives says more options are needed.
"The elderly need care and
social contact," MP Afshan Rafiq told newspaper Dagbladet.
"I think many people would keep their elderly at home if they got
some economic support."
He thinks families should get
monthly welfare payments of as much as NOK 8,000 (about USD 1,100) if they
took care of elderly family members at home.
Social Minister Ingjerd Schou,
who also hails from the Conservatives, called the proposal
"interesting" because it could provide more options in dealing
with the challenges of care for the elderly.
Schou has been under intense
pressure this week after a report revealed inadequate care in many
Norwegian nursing homes. In some cases, elderly patients were awakened at
4am so that understaffed nursing homes could have all patients washed and
dressed in time for breakfast.
In other cases, patients were
forced to endure lengthy delays for medication or toileting assistance, or
were put to bed as early as 5pm, again because of understaffing.