ACCESS NL > Healthcare in the Netherlands > Dutch healthcare system > I am temporarily immobile. How can I arrange help?

I am temporarily immobile. How can I arrange help?

Depending on your personal circumstances you may need the following kinds of help:

* help with personal care or nursing care. Personal care (persoonlijke verzorging) would be assistance with getting dressed/undressed and getting washed. Also help from a nurse such as giving injections, treatment of wounds, etc. This kind of help is called thuiszorg or wijkzorg and is covered by the basic health insurance. If you have an in kind (natura) policy, only help from organisations that have a contract with your health insurance company is covered. It is best to contact your health insurance company to find out with which organisation in your neighbourhood they have a contract. If you have a restitution policy, you can also get help from organisations that don’t have a contract with your insurance company. If your insurance company feels their costs are too high, they will only reimburse up to a certain maximum. 

The help will be given as long as necessary. The organisation you choose will come to you, discuss what you need,  how often (once a day, twice a day or more often) and how long they will come. The organisation that will help you takes care of the necessary paperwork. 

* help in doing the household (dishwashing,  doing the laundry,  ironing,  dust cleaning, etc.). This is covered by the Social Support Act (Wet Maatschappelijke OndersteuningWMO). You must contact the municipality as you need to have approval from them first. The municipality will decide how many hours help you can get. 

Keep in mind that the Dutch system (both for personal care and for doing the household) expects your partner/children help you as well as people from your network (friends, neighbours).  Usually people from your network are willing to help occasionally,  but not for weeks or months.The health insurance company and the municipality will try to give you as little help as possible saying you can ask your network to do the rest. Be realistic what your neighbours are willing to do for you.

If you need any tools such as crutches, a toilet chair, a wheelchair, a pillow to avoid decubitus (wounds caused by sitting/lying very long in one position) etc. it is advised to contact Vegro, (Dutch only) or Medipoint (Dutch only). These organisations have shops all over the Netherlands which offer a wide choice of tools you might need, and they can also help you when you call them. They can also advise what would be useful considering your situation. In most cases you can borrow what you need free of charge as long as you need it and it will be delivered to your place.