BREAKING: "OMG Germany deports its elderly to foreign care homes." NOT.
If you ever had any doubts as to the Daily Fail ethics, here is your proof. I am pretty cross.
Yesterday I was alerted to a story on their site in which it was claimed that Germany was "deporting" it's old people to Eastern European states in order to save the costs of their care. It did not offer any facts, mind you; it just said that Germany has been "accused" of doing so, and quoted a few people who were in homes in Slovakia, and a few employees of social welfare organizations who were protesting.
A few hours later, the story was in the Guardian. , again, in a wishy-washy article that said absolutely nothing. Today, it's all over Twitter, now presented as fact, that Germany is at it again!!!! Getting rid of the helpless! The heartless Germans!
In case you read it anywhere, I just wanted to say it is all complete nonsense. The German state has no say whatsoever in which home the elderly end up in, much less, does the state "deport" them. I should know; that used to be my work a few months ago, and hopefully will be again soon. It is quite clear that when an old person needs to go into a home only two people can decide that, as well as which home: the person herself, or his legal representative. For us social workers it is ALWAYS hands off. We cannot sign anything committing a person into care, much less care in a foreign country.
In fact, the opposite is the case. Germans have nursing care insurance, but the insurance companies only pay it for care homes in Germany; they don't even pay in the EU. WHen my husband had to go into a care home in the UK, because that was where we were living, the home was selected by British Social Services and they came to collect him and take him there. I had no say whatsoever, but still had to pay up. I moved him to Germany just so the insurance company would pay.
These people who go to the East Europe for cheaper care: they are most definitely people who go there voluntarily - if reluctantly - because of the costs; people who are not eligible for insurance money because they don't need the level of care to qualify for nursing home costs. Usually, it's the middle class who can't afford a care home, because the poor have it paid and rich can pay anything.
This is just one example of how a myth can spread through one inaccurate story.
But it might lead to an interesting discussion on nursing home costs, and care of the elderly.
Carry on. I had to get that off my chest. Just seeing how people are tweeting about it all over the place and saying how disgusting Germany is makes me fume.
Last edited by aruna; 12-29-2012 at 04:33 PM.
I saw a special recently about the care the elderly receive in Finland(?). During the program, it became clear more and more entrepeneurs, who specialise in care, are setting up shop in Portugal and Spain. Not only because it is cheaper, but also because people age in better health overthere (superior climate, food, etc). It's definitely not mandatory. Add the fact that Spain and Portugal welcome these old folks homes, because of the work and income they provide and I must conclude it is a win-win-win situation.
Maybe the same thing is going on in Germany?
Judging from my recent experiences, I don't understand this. Private individuals are free to move into whichever home will have them as long as they're paying. If the state is paying, it may be different.
Originally Posted by aruna
Here in Massachusetts, elderly have a pretty vast choice of elder care facilities they can live in. Here we have a state-sponsored program called Group Adult Foster Care (of GAFC) where the state takes the person's entire Social Security check (minus $73) and uses it to pay for whatever GAFC-participating home that the adult chooses (provided there is a room available there). Whatever money that the Social Security fails to pay for, the Commonwealth of Masschusetts picks up the rest of the tab.
As for the $73, that money goes back to the elderly person to spend each month however they like. (Their fun money.)
The $73 isn't really enough because most elderly have the following additional expenses which totally exceed that:
-- cable TV
-- fun food (not facility food)
-- toiletries (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste,denture tabkets, kleenex, sanitary napkins, adult diapers, etc)
-- pharmaceuticals which are NOT part of your Medicare-sanctioned medical plan (nasal spray cough medicine, antacids)
So when it comes to these extra expenses, it helps if you have adult children willing to pony up the extra money each month to pay for all of this, otherwise you're pretty much a prisoner in a building you can never leave, your meal times and sleep times and shower times all decided for you, and you live a totally cashless existence, staring at the TV all day long. A lot of adult children gladly pay for phone and cable and internet access because it's usually an extremely level payment with little to no changes in it from month to month, and it's super easy to have that particular utility bill sent to their home each month on Mom's behalf.
As far as my mom's situation a few years back, I went almost every day to see my mom and bring her her latest prescriptions, do her laundry, fill up her pill-minder with new pills, and run errands for her. The aides working there told me that very few family members came as often as I came and they felt sorry for the residents whose family never came. I lived nearby so it was easy for me to come and do all of this.
And then I became an aide myself a few years later, and so now I see those elderly residents whose family members NEVER come. I have also seen those residents who have no money at all for toiletries. When we showered them, we used the facility-provided shampoo and body wash (not real good for their hair). There were two residents at my former nursing home job where I simply went out and bought shampoo and soap out of my own pocket for them (a lot of us aides and nurses did that for variois residents -- it was like we each unoffically and wordlessly "adopted" a resident and bought this stuff for them). Shouldn't be that way, but it is.
That's my experience also.
Originally Posted by Priene
In the first two weeks, Social Services paid all the costs, as it was Repite Care and free for me. Later on, they made an income assessment, under which my husband's German pension was calculated, and they decided he had to pay for all his care. At that point, we were free to choose a care home, and I chose Germany. He could have moved into a different home in the UK. But by then three months had passed Social Services had paid, but now demanded a refund of several thousand pounds!
Originally Posted by Priene
I had assumed that, as in Germany, they would deduct a provision for my maintenance, but they didn't.When I protested, they said I should apply for state benefits. I had to take them to court because under the rules, if the pension is an occupational pension and not a state pension, the spouse does get half. I got them to concede that it was an occupational pension.
But you're right, if you are paying you do get the choice. Just that it takes a long time for them to make that assessment.
Last edited by aruna; 12-29-2012 at 08:51 PM.
I'm with you on that. Factoring in the Christmas holidays, I think I've seen glaciers slip down valleys faster than Social Services do evaluations.
Originally Posted by aruna