3,000TL ‘not enough’ to cover elderly care costs

STATE support of 3,000TL a month to meet the costs of elderly care is not enough, the head of the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health, Hatice Jenkins, has said.

Prof Jenkins, in an interview with Cyprus Today’s sister newspaper Kıbrıs, noted that there could be “extremely dangerous consequences” because the money paid to care homes is insufficient to cover expenses such as food and drinks, medication and adult nappies.

Indicating that care homes may cut back on their expenses, Prof Jenkins said that this may cause incidents like that at the Sınırüstü Care Home, where elderly people were being neglected, to be repeated.

“The money that care homes receive is not enough,” she said. “The social welfare assistance provided is around 3,000TL [per month per person].

“This money buys medication, adult nappies and food. Care homes have to use electricity [and] are trying to cover all this with the money they receive.

“However, even the cost of electricity has increased significantly. As the situation continues, care homes will have to compromise on quality. So they will use fewer nappies and will not be able to get medicine.”

Prof Jenkins noted that an elderly person in need of care cannot stay at home and cannot afford to pay a carer with 3,000TL a month.

She said that elderly people can suffer from bedsores, or fall and hurt them- selves when they are left home alone, adding that it is a form of “abuse” for the children of elderly people in need of care to leave them alone, for example to go to work.

Noting that elderly people living in care homes are also from the “poorest parts of society”, Prof Jenkins continued: “We have heard that the capacity of the care home in Lapta is insufficient and the one in Kalkanlı will be closed. It really is still a tangled mess.”

Prof Jenkins said that care homes should receive the equivalent of “at least the minimum wage” in order to take care of an elderly person.

“The minimum wage is 7,000TL, [but] even this is insufficient,” she said. “If they can’t get this then their medicine, food and nappy expenses cannot be covered. The Finance Ministry and other relevant ministries should do the necessary calculations.”

Source: Cyprus Today

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