Reduction in number of nursing home beds

nursing home bedsNursing home beds.Photo:

The number of nursing home beds is dropping. In 2015 there were 39 674 beds, a reduction of 510 from 2014. The top level was in 2012, with 40 307 beds.

Almost half of the 428 municipalities showed a reduction in the number of nursing home beds, only 1 in 5 had an increase, while a third had no change. There has also been a reduction in the number of nursing home residents, together with a fall in expenditure.

The overall net decrease of beds can be due to several reasons:

• Many municipalities have reserved beds for patients in a need for urgent help over a few nights, a municipal service that has been enshrined in law in 2016.

• Institution beds have been getting replaced by dwellings with full-time home services for many years. This type of service is now also described as an alternative to nursing homes as per legislation from 1.7.2016.

• The elderly aged 80 years and over are the most frequent users of nursing homes. However, the number of people in this age group has fallen slightly in recent years, which means fewer beds have been needed.

Source: SSB / Norway Today