The Flemish home care organisation Familiehulp ("Family help") has warned the government that an increasing group of people are delaying or cancelling important care that they can no longer afford.
Inflation and rising energy bills are the driving factors: "With fixed costs such as loans or rent, food and energy going through the roof, people are looking to save on other things," Familiehulp general manager Ann Demeulemeester told VRT.
According to the association, people are explicitly stating that they are no longer able to afford the care when cancelling. "Savings are increasingly being made on care and support such as childcare, service checks or family care."
- 'Letting the people down': Flemish Government still trying to balance its budget
- Heavy explosions detected near Nord Stream pipeline leaks
- Wealthier EU Member States oppose price cap on gas
Services such as washing people and ensuring they can get through the day in a dignified way are affected. "In a rich region such as Flanders, this is unprecedented."
In the first semester of 2022, more people have requested care again, but the amount of care hours per home has decreased. "People are reducing or cancelling care with the explicit message that it is no longer affordable for them."
"I am genuinely concerned about that. After all, we do not perform complex medical procedures but ensure that people get a decent meal every day, for example," Lode Draelants, Antwerp regional director, said on Flemish radio. "We hope that the government will take steps in this direction and see that things really have to change, that this crisis is having a severe impact on people."