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Informal Home Care for Elderly in Belgium: A Study on the Features and Challenges of Informal Care at Local Level


In Belgium, and in other OECD countries, there is a growing awareness about the importance of informal home care for the elderly’s well-being. Informal care is considered as an intrinsically valuable social phenomenon. Public authorities in Belgium have been advocating an active policy of support for informal carers. In 2007, an extensive survey was carried out in the Belgian municipality of Kruibeke in order to establish a better picture of the various needs of the elderly in their home situation, but also to better understand the way in which informal care is provided and perceived by care receivers and care givers. The study points to the need for support for the difficult burden of informal care and highlights the need for a coordinated and integrated approach to elderly care.

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    The Katz basic activities of daily living (ADL) scale.

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    An electronic device the elderly person wears around his/her neck and through which he can call for help in case of an emergency (e.g. after a fall) by simply pressing a button.

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    A car adapted to the transportation of physically handicapped persons, such as wheelchair users.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bart Criel.

Additional information

Bart Criel was chairman of the Public Centre of Social Welfare in Kruibeke from April 2001 to July 2008.

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Criel, B., Vanlerberghe, V., De Koker, B. et al. Informal Home Care for Elderly in Belgium: A Study on the Features and Challenges of Informal Care at Local Level. Community Ment Health J 50, 848–853 (2014).

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  • Elderly
  • Well-being
  • Informal care
  • Home care
  • Belgium