Planer for et aldrende samfunn? Bolig og tjenester for eldre i kommunene
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In this research report, we analyze the planning of thirty Norwegian municipalities concerning long-term care and housing for elderly in light of population ageing. Will Norwegian municipalities give priority to nursing homes or assisted housing in the future? To what extent do the municipalities plan to influence the provision of housing for older persons? These are the central research questions of this report. The empirical backbone of the report are policy plans from thirty local governments – the ten largest, ten medium-sized and ten small Norwegian municipalities. In addition, we draw on interviews in four municipalities and official statistics. Assisted housing, combined with services provided at the home of households, are the vogue of Norwegian long-term care. Most of the policy documents studies in this research project profess to give priority to assisted housing over nursing homes. Nonetheless, nursing homes are arguably still the pillar of the eldercare provided in the municipalities. This will neither change in the short run or (in all probability) in the next twenty years. The role of nursing homes, however, is in a process of change: Most municipalities plan to transform these to provide for short-term needs, and aim at providing care for the elderly’s long-term needs through assisted housing and services in private homes. Thus, assisted housing is increasingly a fully-fledged alternative to nursing homes, also in cases where there is need for extensive care services. Analyses of the municipalities’ planning work for the provision of housing to the elderly indicates a policy area with unfulfilled potential. For instance, adapting the present housing stock to the needs of older people, or cooperating with construction companies to build privately financed assisted housing, may lead to big savings for the municipalities. However, most municipalities are quite vague when it comes to plans for influencing the quality and quantity of housing directed at the elderly. This may be a product of the current consensus regarding Norwegian housing policy. Since housing is regarded as an individual responsibility, provided by the market, it is only natural that local governments are reluctant to take responsibility for the provision of housing to the elderly. Moreover, the municipalities may be waiting for the state to take financial responsibility in this area. Specific knowledge gaps and ways forward for scholarly research and politics of old age, housing and long-term care are discussed in Chapter 6.Rapporten drøfter bolig- og tjenesteplanlegging i kommunene i lys av den forventede veksten i antall eldre. Hva prioriterer kommunene: Sykehjem, omsorgsboliger og/eller hjemmetjenester? Er kommunene bevisst på betydningen av boligpolitikk for eldreomsorgen? Finnes det et eldreperspektiv i boligtilpasnings- og utbyggingspolitikken? Dette er problemstillinger som berører sentrale veivalg i velferdspolitikken i årene som kommer. Rapporten viser at omsorgsboliger og hjemmetjenester fortsatt er på fremmarsj i tråd med eldreomsorgens delvise «boliggjøring» fra begynnelsen av 1990-tallet. Likevel har sykehjemmet fortsatt en sterk posisjon i norsk eldreomsorg. Vi viser også at mye av politikken rettet mot eldres ordinære boligsituasjon har et uforløst potensiale: Mange planer på dette området er i startgropa eller på skissestadiet.