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Elderly care: Many defects in Germany's nursing homes

Elderly care: Many defects in Germany's nursing homes



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Large-scale research reveals numerous problems in old people's homes
The majority of German nursing homes have significant quality defects. This has resulted in a comprehensive analysis by the research center correctiv.org, the “Welt” and the NDR television editorial team of “Die Reportage”. According to this, residents in more than half of the facilities were not adequately supplied with medication. In many cases, the supply of food and fluids also obviously leaves something to be desired. Nursing homes in Rhineland-Palatinate achieved the worst price-performance ratio nationwide in the evaluation. Here, four out of five homes were negatively noticed during the annual quality checks of the health insurance companies.

Evaluation of data from all nursing homes
In many German nursing homes, there are evidently massive shortcomings with regard to the care of the elderly. This is the result of extensive research carried out by the "Correctiv" research center in cooperation with the "Welt" and the NDR television editorial staff of "Die Reportage". Half a dozen corrective reporters had spoken to hundreds of people in the past few months and evaluated data on all nursing homes in Germany. The reporters have now compiled their results in the book “Everyone cares alone: ​​How things really go in German homes”, and NDR television also shows a documentary of the research in “Die Reportage” on Thursday.

Nursing grades say little about the quality of care
As the employees of "Correctiv" report, the analysis involved, on the one hand, the breakdown of the so-called "nursing grades", which are awarded annually by the medical service of the health insurance companies (MDK). These have long been the subject of criticism, as 77 different factors, some of which are not very meaningful, are combined to form an overall grade. As a result, most homes perform “very well” (national grade average: 1.2), because “a clearly legible menu can compensate for inadequate use of medication,” said the reporters in their research report. As a result, the grade actually says little about the quality of care.

Food supply is often not in accordance with regulations
In order to be able to draw a more realistic picture, the employees of the research center identified five areas that are relevant for the care of the elderly and people in need of care. These include, for example, an adequate supply of food and fluids, dealing with pain patients and incontinence or the administration of medication. The terrifying result: If only these five areas are considered, 60 percent of all homes are negative. According to the report, more than half of the facilities would not provide the elderly and sick residents with the correct medication, and in more than 30 percent of the homes the food and liquid supply was not in accordance with the regulations.

Rhineland-Palatinate: A lot of money for the worst care
The evaluation shows that conditions in the homes are often worrying, particularly in Rhineland-Palatinate. Because here, according to the information, with regard to the medically relevant part of nursing, four out of five homes would attract negative attention in the annual quality checks of the health insurance companies. A paradoxical situation, because there is hardly any other federal state that has to pay as much for care as there. According to Correctiv, a home place in care level 3 in Rhineland-Palatinate costs an average of 3453 euros per month. Those in need of care must pay more than 1,800 euros themselves. In Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Saxony and Lower Saxony, on the other hand, the private additional payment is only about half as high and the homes around 1000 euros cheaper, the report continues. But why is Rhineland-Palatinate doing so badly? The Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Social Affairs Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler (SPD) apparently had no answer at the request of the "Welt". A country comparison of nursing grades is “not meaningful,” said the politician.

The evaluation also revealed serious differences with regard to the staff in the facilities. In Bremen, for example, almost four out of five nurses work part-time, whereas in Saarland this is less than half as many. In some counties, e.g. the Saale-Orla district in Thuringia, according to the data from the statistical state offices, 90 percent of the employees work part-time. However, a high proportion of part-time workers can make good care difficult, reporters point out. In this case, the residents have several caregivers and more time is required for coordination and handover. Nevertheless, nursing staff are often only employed part-time by the home operators in order to have flexible “jumpers” for possible overtime and emergencies. (No)

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