US News “Federal government slept through the summer”: Politicians warn against the isolation of residents

15:55  02 november  2020
15:55  02 november  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Politicians from the Union and the Left are calling for better concepts for old people's and nursing homes. A limited number of visits must be possible.

Eine Pflegerin schiebt eine ältere Dame im Rollstuhl über einen Flur in einem Seniorenpflegeheim. © Photo: dpa / Holger Hollemann A nurse pushes an elderly lady in a wheelchair across a corridor in a nursing home.

Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) has urgently warned against the isolation of home residents in the phase of the second corona shutdown and has spoken out in favor of controls of the facilities. “It is very important that in these difficult times we do not forget grandparents, parents, siblings and friends who are cared for in homes. Visiting must be possible, albeit limited, ”said Brinkhaus of the Düsseldorf“ Rheinische Post ”. This also applies to the corona rapid tests.

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"The institutions must be supported and compliance with these regulations must of course also be monitored," said the CDU politician. "We have well-functioning structures for this in the federal states and at the municipal level, and the federal government will make its contribution as far as possible." In the first wave in spring, many nursing homes and old people's homes were sealed off with strict visitor restrictions in order to protect residents from corona infections.

Visits to relatives in nursing homes are not prohibited

during the second lockdown

. However, different regulations apply here. The federal and state governments have emphasized that this must not lead to “complete social isolation” of those affected. There should be rapid corona tests for patients and residents, staff and visitors as soon as possible. left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch asked Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) for a concept for social life in old people's and care facilities. “The federal government slept through the summer here and didn't do its homework. That reminds me of the beginning of the pandemic, when there were hardly any masks and disinfectants, "Bartsch told the newspaper.

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.] People have been talking about old people's homes for months, too little has improved. “Where are the millions of rapid tests? Jens Spahn is now asked to present the residents in care and their relatives with a plan on how social life can be made possible in the facilities despite the pandemic. Before - not after Christmas. ”Here, however, the homes themselves are also responsible.

The federal government announced at the end of October that in future 20 corona rapid tests will be made available per resident and month. The test deliveries and corresponding training courses would be prepared.

290 million masks for nursing homes

According to a report by the newspapers of the Funke media group, Spahn wants to send 290 million masks from federal stocks to nursing homes and outpatient nursing services in order to support nursing staff and those in need of care in the pandemic. According to the report, the around 33,000 facilities nationwide are to receive a total of almost 100,000 packages each with 1,000 FFP2 masks for their own protection for the staff and 2,000 simple surgical masks for those in need of care and their visitors.

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According to the Ministry of Health, the mask aid packages come from the stocks of the federal government that were purchased in the first phase of the pandemic. "The successful procurement efforts open up scope that I would like to use to provide targeted and additional support to care facilities with the supply of protective masks," says a letter from the minister to the care facilities that the newspapers have received.

["We are not in a state of emergency," says constitutional lawyer Oliver Lepsius.

Read a conversation about the legality of the German corona policy here.

] It is also clear, according to Spahn, that this can only be a supplementary measure by the federal government: care facilities and their providers must continue to look ahead to the procurement of protective equipment for the coming months.

Christmas in the shift system

The free mask delivery for the particularly endangered people in care is planned from November 10th, and every facility should receive at least one package by Christmas. Inpatient facilities with more than 21 care places are to receive additional packages in a second wave of delivery by the end of January.

Christmas time in particular presents nursing homes with organizational challenges. The federal government's care commissioner, Andreas Westerfellhaus, advised families to celebrate Christmas “in shifts” this year. "Different households could celebrate together on different days," he told the "Bild" newspaper at the end of October. People should reduce the number of contacts, including with relatives. Christmas should therefore be straightened out as much as possible.

He advises to celebrate with fewer people and twice. "You can give presents on December 28th or even later," said Westerfellhaus. He urgently advises staggered visits. An individual visitor management is needed, for which there are now good concepts. (KNA, dpa, epd)

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