Researcher Einar Vetvik fears that various Norwegian municipalities haven’t planned well enough for Norway’s rising population of elderly people.
‘Now it’s serious, the wave of new elderly is already here,’ he said.
According to Dagsavisen newspaper, in the period between 2020 to 2030, the number of people over 80 years of age is expected to increase by 50%. It worries Vetvik, who, together with Per Gunnar Disch, recently published the report, ‘Rhetoric and Realities’.
In it, they concluded that fire crew shortages, and underdevelopment of home care is already a major problem in the municipalities, as well as there being a massive lack of volunteers.
‘There are big variations, but overall, the situation today is very worrying in many municipalities. Economic problems, budget cuts, and rigorous rationalisation of the allocation of services, and places, are very common. The picture is characterised by so much inequality between the municipalities that it could give rise to ‘welfare migration,’ said Vetvik.
The two researchers believe there will be a greater transfer of public sector tasks to private, and civil society.
Kåre Hagen, head of the Center for Welfare and Labour Research, isn’t as concerned. Like so many in today’s organisations,he sees digitalisation as one of the ‘magic bullet’ solutions.
‘New technology creates security, and will cause the elderly to be self-reliant for longer. It will shorten the time that the elderly stay in nursing homes. Then the costs won’t look so disturbing’, said Hagen.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today