Hatice Jenkins, Chairperson of the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health, said that the care homes for the elderly are currently full, that the elderly and the sick are admitted to the state-owned care homes, and the orphans who have no place to go stay in hospitals.
In addition, indicating that there are serious problems in the absence of caregivers for the elderly staying in hospitals, Jenkins said that even the diapers of these elderly people were not changed until a caregiver was found.
Hatice Jenkins, Chairperson of the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health, who participated in the “Markaj” program presented by Editor-in-Chief Ali Baturay on BAĞIMSIZ TV, called on the authorities for a crisis desk be set up on this issue.
Jenkins: They are being devalued
Hatice Jenkins said that they have known for a long time that the state care homes are full and that they have suggested creating a crisis desk in this regard. Expressing that this issue is urgent, Jenkins noted that it may take a year or two to build a building and that the government can stop building and rent it if they want.
Jenkins stated that solutions can be produced in various ways, but there has been no change so far, and therefore they want to share some information with the public.
Hatice Jenkins stated that they do not want to turn a blind eye to the elderly, saying that until now the voice of the elderly has not been heard and therefore they are ignored and become worthless when ignored.
“Money in the bank alone won’t help you”
Expressing that hiring a caregiver at home is not a solution either, Jenkins said that even if the elderly person who hires a caregiver has money, they need someone to supervise the caregiver, issue their permits, and withdraw their money from the bank.
Jenkins also stated that the public no longer has children and the number of siblings is low.
Hatice Jenkins said, “The number of orphaned elderly people who do not have children, whose children live abroad, in short, is increasing”.
“Even 15,000TL is not enough”
Saying that the society is becoming increasingly impoverished, Jenkins said, “The home care fee for a disabled person is 30 thousand TL. However, the salary of these people is 60 percent of the minimum wage. So the money received is not enough. The solution for this is for the state to take care of people in this situation in its own care home,” he said.
Hatice Jenkins also said that the fees received by the care homes is not enough for the service they provide, and that if we want quality service, we have to take the price into account.
Jenkins reiterated that private care homes demand 15,000 TL, which is not enough, and even less, and noted that electricity charges, employee wages, cleaning materials and food prices have increased.
“Social Services Bill Sent to Parliament”
Noting that the Social Services Bill was prepared and sent to the parliament after an intense struggle, Jenkins stated that the aim here is to ensure that the social services assistance can at least provide the wages requested by the nursing homes.
Jenkins stressed that this should have been done 10 years ago.
“Two care homes closed”
Hatice Jenkins stated that there were 6 care homes in total, two of which have closed; one of them in Sınırüstü and the other in Lefkoşa.
“Fees need increase to keep businesses in this area alive,” Jenkins said.
“The elderly are accepted in state-owned care homes using influence”
Mentioning that the facilities in state-owned care homes are better, Jenkins stated that families with better financial means send their elders to the state using influence.
Jenkins noted that those who are close to politicians are usually taken to these care homes.
Stating that the elderly, who are supposed to be cared for by the state, are sent to private nursing homes by social services, Jenkins said, “The elderly are so disadvantaged that they don’t even have visitors. In addition, it is very difficult for them to receive health care in public hospitals when they are sick,” he said. Jenkins also stated that the biggest supervisor is the patient’s relatives, and said that when a patient’s relative visits they notice things like cleanliness, hygiene conditions and the mental health state of their elderly.
“Education should be given”
Noting that it is very important to educate and raise awareness of caregivers working in care homes, Jenkins said that some caregivers address the elderly by their names in a disrespectful way.
Jenkins said they’ve been training caregivers for two years, but it wasn’t exactly the audience they wanted to attend.
For this reason, Hatice Jenkins said that they went to 4 nursing homes this year and held the training there.
“There are elderly people staying in hospitals because they have nowhere to go”
Jenkins noted that even though their treatment is over, there are people waiting in hospitals because they have no place to go, and said:
“This topic comes to us often. For example, an orphan who is sent to a private care home by social services gets sick and is hospitalized. The hospital calls the care home and asks, ‘why didn’t you send a caregiver?’ However, the care home has no responsibilities outside the care home. A dispute begins here. The home desperately finds a caregiver. No one touches that elderly person or changes their diaper until a caregiver is found. In addition, after a patient goes to the hospital, the care home takes someone else in their place. Then they do not take the patient back; the patient stays in the hospital”.
Expressing that such situations should not happen, Jenkins said that the state should have money in the budget for this issue and recruit rota staff for such situations.
“The state does not do what is socially necessary”
Hatice Jenkins, noting that the state has not done what is socially necessary until now, asked, “Why can’t we make a program?”
Saying that the population has increased and the need for schools, hospitals and care homes has increased with it, Jenkins said that it is as if nothing has any social value.
“Kalkalı Care Home is left in the middle like a premature born baby”
Jenkins reminded that the Kalkanlı Care Home was opened in 2019 and before it opened, they told the minister of the time to “make the law first”.
Noting that all her worries came to light, Jenkins said, “That care home was left like a premature baby. Politics in our country changes very fast and the next minister does not continue what the previous minister did. The care home was also opened illegally and under the wrong ministry,” she said.
Hatice Jenkins stated that this care home is currently intended to be taken over by the Ministry of Labor, but a protocol has not yet been signed between the two ministries.
In addition, Jenkins stated that Kalkalı Care Home has a section that is awaiting repair and has the capacity to accept 55 more people, adding that it is also important that this is done.
Source: Bağımsız Gazete