My name is Marianne Lapidaire and I have established Care-in-France. Together with my partner I have bought a house in Fayence (Var) and since the end of 2007 we live there frequently.
I am a nurse by profession and I have worked many years in Health Care, especially as director of a nursing home. A good collaboration between services and individuals and especially to keep an eye on personal wishes and needs of our clients has always been at the centre of my work. Fayence is a favourable place to work quite in the centre of the southern part of France.
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The necessity of care amongst the Dutch residing in the South of France
This investigation is about the current and future necessity of care amongst the Dutch residing in the South of France. In addition, the rights and obligations of this group of people according to Dutch, French and EU laws were also investigated.
Mirjam Rutters, a student of the Bachelor’s degree program European Studies at the Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden in The Netherlands, executed this investigation for Marianne Lapidaire, on behalf of the Dutch care provider De Open Ankh. This care provider is the second largest care provider in The Netherlands and works in the fields of elderly care, mental care and care for the handicapped.
The reason for executing this investigation is the assumption that there is a large group of Dutch people that resides in the South of France and that most of these people are elderly. In general, these people need more care than people who are younger. The Dutch have recently been faced with the implementation of a new care system that took effect as of January 1st 2006. It is precisely this new care system that has caused a lot of uncertainty and confusion amongst the Dutch living abroad. They feel that they have not been properly informed by the Dutch government nor by their health insurance as to what the consequences are for them. As a result, some Dutch people have decided to return to The Netherlands, although they would prefer to continue living abroad. Instead of returning to The Netherlands, they would like to stay in France and enjoy a more extensive offer with regards to care.
The main question that the investigation had to answer is what the content of that extended offer of care should be according to the research group and whether or not a Dutch care provider has any possibilities to be able to offer that in the south of France. By means of enquiries and interviews with the research population and organisations that are related to this group of people, there has been tried to establish what the current and future need for care is and the level of interest amongst this research population for certain types of care. Also, the Dutch, French and EU laws and regulations have been a studied to find out what the rights and obligations are for the target group with regards to care.
The results of the investigation show that there is a need for a care co-ordinator that not only serves as an information point but is also able to offer medical help in case of medical emergencies. The research group also sees Dutch general practitioners or specialists as an added value to the existing offer of French doctors and specialists. According to the research group, their health is in perfect condition and they want to stay in their own house. That is why there currently is no need for a living community with apartments. However, they do see it as a good option for the future, when they become more dependent of care. There is a clear preference for an international mix of inhabitants of the living community instead of a solely Dutch group of people.
It is therefore recommend that De Open Ankh will start with the construction of a service centre from which a care co-ordinator will operate. The target group will be able to contact this care co-ordinator by telephone. When the dependency on care increases amongst the target group, the service centre will also expand its services towards the target group, so that they will be able to satisfy the needs of this group.