Is the dignity of residents now protected in retirement homes? Has the report by the defender of rights published in May 2021 which alerted to serious dysfunctions borne fruit? No doubt in part, but significant problems persist. “Concerns remain”, alarmed the defender of rights Claire Hédon, according to whom “the public authorities are not up to it”.
In a document published Monday, January 16, she warns that the elderly in nursing homes remain victims of abuse. Reports sent to the defender of rights are indeed on the rise. “Since May 2021, 281 new complaints have been received, denouncing violations of rights, in particular the right to care and appropriate support, can we read in its report. More than 46% of these referrals alert on obstacles to private and family life and the freedom to come and go of residents. »
A shower every fortnight
Some situations are particularly challenging. In an establishment – of which the defender of rights was seized in October 2022 – the residents had the right only to a shower every fortnight as well as to meals unsuited to their needs – “meal times too short , unsuitable temperatures, lack of facilities”, lists the report, or even spent their days walking around in their pajamas.
So many serious shortcomings which can be explained by an endemic lack of personnel in a sector which can no longer recruit, analyzes Claire Hédon, who therefore asks that a supervision rate be fixed black and white in the law, so that certain care, “such as that relating to the toilet, (can no longer be) organized in an accounting logic to reduce the number of staff”.
Another subject of indignation: “While everywhere in society the measures taken during the health crisis have been lightened, some residents are still confined, outside of any regulatory framework”, can we read. Thus, travel restrictions, put in place during the health crisis, would still be in force in certain establishments. Visits by relatives are still sometimes illegally restricted.
However, all these shortcomings are made possible by the difficulties in raising the alarm, finally analyzes Claire Hédon. In order to break the silence that surrounds nursing homes, it recommends the provision of reliable measurement tools to allow each professional to easily assess the well-being of residents. Another avenue: review reporting mechanisms by tackling several obstacles: “Complexity of procedures, multitude of actors involved and sometimes lack of cooperation. So many projects which she asks the legislator to tackle as quickly as possible.
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