Happy in a nursing home?

Perceived quality of life and care of older residents of nursing and care homes

Original title: Gelukkig in een verpleeghuis?

Life in Dutch residential nursing and care homes is changing. The number of frail older persons in the Netherlands is increasing. Older people are increasingly living independently for longer, and only the most frail older persons move to a nursing or care home. Media reports about the care provided in these nursing and care homes are not always universally positive and, partly as a result of those reports, Dutch people are concerned about the quality of care and the lives of residents.

To compile this report, SCP researchers conducted extensive interviews with more than 950 residents of Dutch nursing and care homes located throughout the country. They asked residents about their experiences and opinions regarding the quality of their lives (happiness, loneliness, meaning of life) and the quality of the care they receive (privacy, autonomy, being treated with respect, safety). People with severe dementia could of course not be interviewed independently, and in the report ‘Older people in nursing and care homes’ (‘Ouderen in verpleeghuizen en verzorgingshuizen’), this latter group are described by their family members and carers. That report presents a picture of objective aspects of the life situation of residents, including health, social networks and financial situation.