02 Feb 2018

Workers condemn conditions in French retirement homes

Thousands of nurses and retirement home workers staged a national strike in France last week, putting a spotlight on how society treats the elderly.

Roxanne D'Arco
Roxanne D'Arco NewsMavens, France
Workers condemn conditions in French retirement homes - NewsMavens
A nurse cares for an elderly patient. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

People working in EHPADs (which stands for ‘accommodation's establishments for aged and dependent persons’) for years have asked for better working conditions and improvements in elder care. The national strike is the result of those unheard pleas.

"Before, we kept pensionaries eight to 10 years. Today, they are older when they arrive and in a really degraded state," a nurse named Léa said.

For example, staff cannot wash residents in the 10 minutes recommended because there do not have devices such as a hoist or a shower trolley to help them. Lack of money is a real issue, not only for equipment but also for activities that can fend off damage to the mind and soul of elderly residents. Most EHPADs are not suitable for patients with Alzheimer disease.

France must reverse its austerity measures and find a better way to treat its older citizens, and find a way to accept and integrate them into society.

human rights,France,healthcare crisis

Details from the story:

  • Thousands of retirement home workers protested across France, including in the cities of Lille, Marseille, Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon and Nice.
  • A retirement home costs in France around 2,000 to 2,500 euros per month.
  • About 600,000 elderly men and women live in 7,200 retirement homes, known as EHPADs.
  • There are about 400,000 people working in EHPADs across France.

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