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The European voice for informal carers

Strengthening home care effectively – at long last

Our German colleagues from wir pflegen published a new study and position paper on 10 January 2024.

The long paper contains 26 pages of a meticulous analysis of data from Germany’s government and care insurance reports. These provide evidence, with much detail and many graphs, that of all the entitlements people with care needs have in Germany, only two fifth are utilized – just 50 billion euros, against a staggering 74 billion euros worth of entitlements which are un-used. (Until now, politicians and others thought the un-used entitlements were ‘just’ 20 billion euros.)

The reasons for these entitlements to care support not being used are predominantly:

  • People don’t want, what they are entitled to, sometimes because those services are not aligned to individual needs
  • The services are too expensive (costs have greatly risen, but not matched by financial supports)
  • The services simply do not exist – and this is by far the biggest problem

Critically, only 2.5 people out of 100 can get day care, because no day care provision exists for the remaining 97.5 people. The situation is even worse for short-term residential care breaks (less than 1%), and night day (practically non-existent).

The implications are clear – for families and unpaid carers, and for the German economy which desperately needs people at work and can ill-afford a brain-drain into unpaid caring for relatives.

The wir pflegen report was sent to well over 1,000 politicians and key agencies and has already been picked up in several daily papers. Many politicians are responding to our requests for personal meetings in Berlin and in the Länder.

Download the English translation of the summary here.
The study and position paper in German are available here :

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