ZAGREB, Dec 2, 2020- The SUH pensioners’ union and the “Treca Dob” association of aged persons on Wednesday warned of neglect of elderly people in private aged care facilities, particularly during the pandemic, and called for urgent control of those facilities.
“Even though Minister Josip Aladrovic has informed that the number of welfare inspectors has doubled (to possibly 20) and that criteria for private facilities have been made stricter, in reality, there has not been any improvement,” the pensioners’ associations said.
Some beneficiaries are in absolute isolation and are not receiving regular health and welfare attention or support and we are getting more and more reports of residents in aged care facilities that their movement is being restricted and personal hygiene has been reduced and that they are not being fed regularly or even being given water. Some are not being showered at all but just wiped down with wet wipes, they say.
The worst thing is that considering they are not allowed to leave these facilities their fundamental rights are being jeopardized, the SUH and the NGO said.
“Due to a shortage in staff, they are not being fed regularly, showered, allowed to step out in the yard, to call family and everything is being justified with the COVID-19 situation.”
In those facilities where social welfare workers are employed, they cannot be reached on the phone and are rude to residents and their families, and cover up all the misdoings, SUH said.
The associations called on the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy to urgently take action and form an expert inquiry commission that will systematically investigate the situation in these facilities.
They also call for a reform of the welfare inspection and for its de-centralization and for citizen volunteers to be introduced who will be allowed to enter these facilities.