We are pleased to share with you this very promising update from the Norwegian alliance for informal Carers, our member from Norway:
After Pårørendealliansen (Norwegian alliance for informal Carers) launched the idea for a National Carers Strategy in 2016, we are on the road to have one!
We have estimated that 800 000 people in the Norwegian population of 5.3 million are caring for sick, disabled and/or old and frail family-members and friends. The caring is mostly unpaid, and the number of hours they are caring, sum up to about 110 000 FTEs. If compensated for only with a minimum wage, that is equivalent to at least 4 billion Euros, and that number is probably much too low.
The caring from family and friends are almost half the aid and care they get, the rest is given from the Municipalities. Caring from unpaid caregivers in Norway is about 50 % of all the care. The reason for this, is that almost 70 % of woman are working, most of them full time .
The Carers strategy has to address several rising issues. We have well developed arrangements for maternity and paternity leave, and good Kinder-garden services. The number of LTC places for older and disabled people has been good, but now we are seeing a political change to more home-based care. This is again putting a strain especially on the Sandwich generation, since they are balancing work and care. This is a rising problem, also because of geographical distance and urbanization. We also have to raise awareness on Young Carers, since we see a rise of youth dropping out of school and ending on welfare instead of graduating or having a paid job.
There is a common need to update rights to information, to respite and support, to economical benefits and to be able to balance work and care for working Carers, and supporting Young Carers in the school system. We have to adapt this to a new and modern family life, in order to still take care of our loved ones.
The Government invited several NGOs and others to give input to the Carers strategy, both in meetings and in writing. They also invited citizens to give digital input via an open emaillink, to get input from Carers directly!
The strategy will involve the following Ministries: – Health and Welfare, Employment and Social affairs, Local government and Modernisation, Culture and Equality and Child and Family.
As far as we are informed, the National Carers strategy will be presented in December 2019. As initiators, we look forward to this and will keep you informed!
Managing Director Pårørendealliansen
Board member EuroCarers
(photo: Norwegian Minister of Health Bent Høie)