Care homes: a political scandal

In many countries the coronavirus has spread particularly virulently in care homes. This is especially problematic because Covid-19 often affects the elderly most severely. European media accuse the politicians of dire neglect in this area - and point to other blind spots outside the care homes.

Open/close all quotes
The Independent (GB) /

Elderly citizens criminally neglected

The British government has done far too little to prevent the spread of the virus in care homes, writes an outraged Independent:

“Although we will not know the final toll for many months, the UK could end up with the worst death rate in Europe. The forgotten second front and its second-class treatment cannot be hidden away any longer. ... On his widely welcomed return to work this week, Boris Johnson spoke of the government's 'apparent success' in hospitals. He didn't mention its abject, avoidable failure in care homes. One day, the official inquiry into this crisis surely will.”

Expressen (SE) /

Temporary staff increase risk of infection

According to the Union of Civil Servants, Sweden's high number of coronavirus deaths relative to its population size is connected to the high number of temporary staff in elderly care. For Expressen, this makes sense:

“ln Stockholm last year, almost one out of four working hours [in this sector] was undertaken by temporary workers. The senior citizens' households are full of people - a nightmare from the perspective of reducing infection rates. And many of these temporary workers go between the various old age homes, spreading pathogens. ... The lack of continuity makes the lives of the elderly patients more difficult and makes work more difficult for full-time employees. Routines are harder to maintain, and hygiene regulations too.”

Primorske novice (SI) /

Solutions for long-term care long overdue

The needy and the elderly living at home have received too little attention in the corona crisis, Primorske novice comments critically:

“This particularly applies to those who were released from hospitals and to dementia patients who need constant care. The ban on new admissions to retirement homes (to protect those already living and working there) left many in a very difficult situation. And the help that they received at home is no solution. ... The waiting lists for a place in a home, which are already too long under normal circumstances, are now even longer. ... This is why we hope that the corona crisis will be a good lesson for the people in power and that they will address long overdue systemic solutions in long-term care as quickly as possible.”