skip to Main Content

I never qualify. I am revolted.

[Translated] None of the services I have used have the means to help dependent people with multiple sclerosis. It’s a horror. I have to do everything on my own because the home carers for example can’t come if I’m in hospital or on rehabilitation…the domestic helpers are no longer available, I am not entitled to a transport service … I never qualify. I am revolted. I live alone without family and it’s really hard. I’ve been able to get help at times but it doesn’t last because the budgets are so small. Even people with severe physical disabilities don’t have adequate help. The Aviq [Agence pour une Vie de Qualité] has not been functioning for years… the situation is very serious. And it has become even worse with Covid.

Family care for nursing home residents

[Translated] I lost my father last year (cancer). We kept him at home, with my brothers and sister, almost until the end; we are now looking after our mother. She has been in a nursing home for several months. We take turns every day to get her up, wash her, dress her, feed her and take her out. The staff at the care home is always on leave, there is a high turnover of staff. Not only does my mother pay, we each pay a small part of the accommodation, but we are the ones who take care of her from morning to night. That’s why we are part-time.

Build on solidarity

[Translated] In Belgium, we are immensely lucky that our health care system is based on solidarity. It is important that this continues and is even strengthened to avoid inequalities.

There is a lot of work to be done

[Translated – excerpt] Long-term care is an obligation of society. The administration has to participate and set criteria for equality, but it has to get involved in management, if it wants to do so under the same conditions as everyone else. Give a choice to the citizen who chooses what he/she wants, not what the administration thinks (free choice). Care should be directed by the people, not only centred on them. Empowerment of the citizen. Promote professional training and above all competences and skills. Increase staff ratios and salaries, and above all work/family/leisure balance. There is a lot of work to be done.

Open up about discrimination

Start to talk openly [about] discrimination of elderly in Sweden which has been going on AT least 20 years by now [emphasis in original].

Supporting the care workforce

The government should invest in training social workers, so that quality of care is as high as possible, and at the same time the social status of social workers, professional carers and nursing staff is raised, they are better paid, and young persons would like to choose such careers.

Abandoning the elderly

[translated] Let’s not abandon the elderly, they do not deserve that.

Long-term care requires trust

[translated] It is not easy to gain the trust of a stranger and let them take care of you. Trust and safety are also very important factors in receiving /providing long-term care.

Unsure whether the study will have an impact

[translated] These studies are interesting, but [I do not know] whether the obtained results will have an impact or be used by the competent institutions, in the direction of improving the situation with provision of care to the elderly… We have low incomes and therefore we do not have the opportunity to resign or pay for caregiver or nursing home services… nor do our parents have such pensions that can cover their expenses to stay in a nursing home, where they will live comfortably and be treated with dignity …

Older people need opportunities for socializing

[translated] Centers for socializing of the elderly should be provided, for playing chess, knitting, and so on; because after they retire they are at home all day and have no communication with other people.

Caregivers should get protected/priority status

[translated] Well, I hope that caregivers get a protected or priority status – I mean at work and as workers, everyone needs us, our attention, and to some extent it feels like we are omnipotent and can care for others, care for ourselves and sometimes, care for our parents. That is wrong.

The state should finance care

[translated] In general, the state should take care of the financing of care services and introduce a system for quick access to emergency medical care.

There is no long-term care help in Romania

[translated -excerpt, emphasis in original text] Home-based assistance offered by the Romanian state to older people DOES NOT EXIST. This is unacceptable. […] for sick people and the elderly the situation is extremely BAD. There is no help. No state funded services to help them at home or in an institution, facilities for the elderly are so bad they are more like prisons or labour camps. I also strongly advise you to do a study and personal visits to psychiatric hospitals, and how mental health is treated in Romania.

Importance of the survey

[translate] I hope your study can contribute to helping older people in need of care.

Need for a systemic way of funding care

[translated -excerpt] I would like to see society organise a systemic way of funding care for older people in their own homes for as long as possible, and then in institutions when they need it. Funding should be provided through long-term contributions to an individual’s fund, as for a pension, or through insurance. The problem of paying for care for the elderly is a major problem, and the hardship and burden on the person being cared for and on those close to them is great.

Care services need to be developed in the country

[translated] There is a need to develop care services in the country, especially home (community-based) care as well as mental health, rehabilitation and recovery, and palliative care services.

Long-term care needs to be prioritised by the state

[translated] This issue [of long-term care] needs to be discussed and prioritised by the state, because the population is ageing, children are going abroad and local structures for [supporting older people] need to be improved and a concrete annual budget established. We will all reach an age when we need help.

Home care services should be developed

[translated] The development of home care services in Romania would contribute to increasing the quality of life of Romanians and would be of great help to family doctors [general practitioners] who are overburdened with time-consuming bureaucratic tasks.

Sometimes the caregiver may be rejected from the role

[translated] I would gladly take care of my family members if there were not serious issues that put a big barrier between me and them. It’s easy to place the responsibility on the shoulders of family members when one needs support, but no one considers that the one who is supposed to be the caregiver may be rejected from this role. It is a particular situation, but unfortunately not unique.

The state should be completely responsible

[translated] Long-term care should be almost exclusively the prerogative of state institutions that should have the necessary infrastructure and resources to respond to the needs of older people and their families.

End private health entities

[translated] Additional taxation for end-of-life care is not equitable, considering that people already pay for health insurance. It would be necessary to eliminate corruption in the national health system, increase the quality of services and put a stop to the capture of the national health system by private entities who misappropriate funds that should be invested in our health, turning them into personal profit.

Everyone deserves quality services

[translated] Sacrificing one life for another seems unacceptable to me. Everyone should be able to benefit from quality, professional services.

Need to plan for the future

[translated] You’ve made me think … I will have to come up with a plan for the future.

The state should provide the necessary costs

[translated] I am of the opinion that a pensioner has paid a rather large sum to the State month after month all his life. In old age, when that person would need long term care the state should participate in the necessary costs of the care and not leave the family to do it alone.

My biggest fear

[translated] My biggest fear is that I will be powerless to support and provide for myself. That would place my family in a difficult financial and physical situation, given that my future salary and pension will not be enough to cover all expenses.

No respite

[Translated] I have long cared for my sister and my mother, and now my husband who has cancer and is bedridden! I wish someone [could support me] for a few hours or once a few days so that I could go away once with my daughter and granddaughter or make a trip!

Home supports with a cookie cutter approach

My mother could afford to pay for care but we couldn’t get consistent reliable care due to the pandemic. We chose a residence but even they are limited to what they can provide and in Canada if a higher level of care is required then the person needs to go to LTC which wasn’t available at the time and she ended up staying in hospital until she passed. The government offers home supports with a cookie cutter approach; not tailored to what would make staying in her home possible. PSWs [personal support workers] to help shower and dress but no service to wash dishes. She could shower, [but] she needed help with dinner and dishes or laundry. The maximum hours [funded by the] Government is 4 hours/week not enough to sustainably stay home.

Support family caregivers

[Translated] Support and training for family caregivers is needed in many ways.

If the quality of care drastically improves

“Given the current state of care facilities, I would prefer to take care of my parents/loved ones at home and if I should require services I would prefer to be taken care of at home. The way I view care facilities in their present state is that these facilities provide everything needed to keep a person alive but greatly reduce their quality of life (e.g., loss of dignity, reduced access to meaningful activities and social interaction, loss of agency etc.). I believe it is practical, feasible and in governing bodies best interest in the long term to improve quality of care in these facilities. We now have good evidence for activities/programs that can improve wellbeing and physical health in older adults. We should be utilizing this evidence to improve the lives of older adults. If the quality of care provided in these facilities drastically improves, I would view this as the preferred option. But we are not there yet.”

More support for informal carers

“It’s very difficult to take care of elderly. It causes a lot of stress with effects on health. Wished for some more support structures. Needs have to be assessed often as they can change frequently.”

The care system we need

[Translated] In the next few years, Germany will need more good care facilities, if possible connected with other living facilities in which partners can also live. With high quality standards, but also with empathetic nursing and care staff and good living standards. With medical care, physiotherapy and a good activation program. Care should be affordable for all and not be passed on to family members who risk their health, private life and income for it. Nursing home care should not be stigmatized, as it relieves relatives of a great deal of work and ensures care free interaction with the persons to be cared for. Financial reasons should not be the reason why people do not go to a nursing home, because the psychological burden is too high.

Care across borders

[Translated] It is complicated to get help when the parent who needs it is living abroad (France) and it is impossible for him/her to live alone. Because no retirement home can be found for him/her, the only solution is to take him/her at home (in another country of the European Union)

A system focused on services, not people

[Translated] I am not happy with the current nursing home system and it is a system that is focused on services and not on people. It is desirable that this changes with everyone’s help.

Caregiving should be a choice

[Translated] Children and partners should never be forced to take care of their relatives. Everyone wants to be able to live their life the way they want. It’s great that a survey like this is being done. Thank you!

What the future holds

I have Parkinson’s Disease and I dread what the future holds for me physically and mentally.

The right care for the right person

[Translated] I have placed my mother in a nursing home due to advanced dementia. What is missing there are people who occupy themselves with the old people. […] Due to Corona and very limited visitation opportunities, loneliness is increasing. Thus all voluntary visiting services fall flat. […] As much as one pushes the models to accommodate old and young in shared apartments together, I found that my mother with advancing age – who loves her great-grandchildren very much – is simply more stressed when she is visited, it is too loud, too wild, etc.. So she doesn’t want to attend family gatherings anymore either. For a while she was very enthusiastic about the day care center in [redacted] – there she was offered everything she needed. Someone talked to her, they played and made music together, they prepared the snack together, etc. This combination between home and day care center would be IDEAL in my opinion.

A timely topic

Thank you for dealing with this study as it will help many people.

No easy answers

Thanks for keeping this in the public eye. No easy answers, I’m not sure I agree with all of mine today, but we must keep trying!!

Diversifying long-term care provision

[Translated] I am curious about the results… It is important to increase the prestige and financial value of care at home! Explore even more possibilities for care in old age… (shared housing, generation parks and others)

Evidence-based care development

[Translated] I would not want my future to be in the hands of politicians but in the hands of qualified experts.

More participatory research

[Translated] I would like such surveys to be more efficient and to have more participation in them, and consequently I would like to talk and learn more about these issues in order to take action and make life easier for many individuals.

Preparing for care workforce shortages

[Translated] There are now already too few caregivers and nothing is done about it! How will that be in 10 years ?!

Preventing care need

[Translated] Do not forget to correlate loss of functional independence with disease. Do not forget that 30% of dementias can be prevented and that frailty is preventable and reversible: prevention must also be funded.

Fairness in financing care

[Translated] I don’t understand why people with high income and property don’t have to pay for their own place in [residential] care homes!

The goals long-term care

Every person in need of care must be cared for so that he or she has all the dignity required. Taking into account their limitations, they must be provided with the highest possible quality of life. This care must be provided by family members and professional staff so that their affective and assistance needs are covered.

Difficulties in accessing benefits

[Translated] It would be good if the decisions were also upheld when the care allowance is raised. Often the decision ends up in court and it is possible to challenge it. It should not be made difficult for those who are dependent on this financial support.

Huge pressure on families

For the past ten years, I have been providing care to my mother with dementia and complex care needs whilst at the same time raising two children alone following the break-up of my marriage due to domestic abuse, and trying to combine this with work. I am exhausted and feel completely burnt out. Caring has negatively impacted on my work and career and affected my family life. My mother has recently moved to a small scale nursing home where she is so happy and so well looked after. There is huge pressure on families to continue to look after people with highly complex care needs and I question that. There are too few small scale nursing homes in Ireland.

Unable to use a smart phone

I visit my stepmother who is in a wheelchair after a severe stroke 14 years ago. She can cope with the costs of care so I can see the restrictions she faces even when there is sufficient money. She is physically but not mentally disabled. She is unable to use a smart phone or an I-pad and needs 24 [hour] help. She cannot use even disabled toilets. Access into taxis is difficult and impossible in a private car.

Feeling abandoned

[Translated] I was my husband’s caregiver for 7 years. He passed away from a rare and orphaned neurodegenerative disease (PSP). When the diagnosis was announced, we felt abandoned. Then it was very difficult to find quality help even if we paid. I retired 2 years before the legal age to continue to help him. Our last and most terrible test was to have his advance directives respected. He could no longer swallow, so he could not eat or drink. He refused the gastrostomy and wanted deep sedation. I had to fight again and again to have his wishes respected. So abandoned from beginning to end!

I save the state a lot of money!

[Translated] I care for my husband after a stroke and brain hemorrhage, which means he needs me around the clock. I would like to have a paid time off of one week once a year and my husband is well taken care of and does not feel “deported”. After all, by taking care of him, I save the state a lot of money!

I should receive a better benefit

As a person caring for my spouse I receive a payment from my social protection department to cover my role. This payment amounts to less than 1x€ per hour as I’m needed to be there 24 hrs per day to assist 365 days per year. I think I should receive a better benefit to do this task.

Urgent need for support

[Translated] I would urgently need support as far as my parents are concerned. They live alone, my father doesn’t speak at all anymore, can’t be reached by phone either, and my mother now and then. I think they both need urgent support, but I can’t talk to them anymore. My mother had a serious brain operation, I was never informed by any doctor, by any nurse, by any social worker…….what can be done, what is available, nothing at all….

Appropriate in-home care

Both my parents died in a nursing home. I believe that had there been appropriate in-home care available outside of the hours of 9am to 5pm that my mother might have been able to live at home. As it was she suffered a severe fall at night and was admitted to hospital and declined there to the point that she required full-time care. The cost of overnight carers was exorbitantly expensive. The government should put more resources into providing high quality home care which doesn’t end at 5pm when patients are most vulnerable

Care should be provided for older people

[…] My elderly grandmother lived with my family for 25 years and she needed substantial care for the last 15 years of that. My mother was a full time carer for her and could not work. There was definitely family expectation that this would be the case. Eventually she was too frail to be at home and she lived in a nursing home for the the last 10 or so years of her life. Both of my parents mental and physical health improved substantially after that. They were still involved in visiting frequently, bringing food, doing laundry but they were also able to live their own lives. I feel very strongly that care should be provided for older people

Covid destroyed connections

[…] When Covid came along it destroyed very important connections that enable older people in nursing homes to keep going & stay connected, to keep hope alive – the deterioration in my Mother in just 18 months was, & still is, devastating & resulted in her recent death. All those months we were unable to be by her side & keep her going, instead she wasted away as she was unable to comprehend what was going on with Covid, yet she was aware enough to know we were no longer with her. Looking through a window trying to communicate love & care to someone with dementia & who is very confused about why you wouldn’t come inside was one of the cruelest experiences. It was terrible to witness just how much our older people are let down by lack of creative, adequate, & in my opinion humane, care options because even in times of desperation when I considered taking my Mother out of the nursing home to live with me the pain of knowing that was not possible was very heavy as I knew the reality of what it had been like 4 years previously trying to care for her – lack of adequate home help, lack of adequate services – & now along now with significantly increased care needs it would have been a recipe for crisis. I became very unwell physically when I’d been involved in her care prior to her going to live in the nursing home.”

Back To Top
Translate »