Parliamentary body calls for measures to improve elderly care
Ljubljana, 14 October - The parliamentary Committee on Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Disabled called on the relevant ministry on Monday to draw up a proposal setting the standards and criteria for elderly care in retirement homes.
Discussing elderly care at the request of the opposition Left following media reports of maltreatment of the elderly in retirement homes, the committee called on the Ministry of Labour, the Family and Social Affairs to present measures within 90 days.
The committee also expects an action plan for increasing the capacities as well as the number of staff at retirement homes. The document should include plans for renovation and expansions of existing facilities as well as building new ones.
The government should look into ways to draw EU funds for these purposes and report on these options to the National Assembly within 60 days, members of the committee agreed.
The Labour Ministry should also study the regulations on the monitoring and development of long-term care.
Primož Siter of the Left expressed disappointment that the other six proposals put to the vote by his party had not been endorsed, saying they included binding obligations and deadlines for implementation.
Siter noted that the service of providing elderly care was being commercialised and that a high price did not mean a high quality of service.
He added that currently some 10,000 people were waiting for a bed at a retirement home, while the state had not built any new home for the last 14 years.
Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer responded by saying that a September report by the Court of Audit had shown that previous governments had not devoted enough attention to this field.
She promised systemic measures, including a long-term care act, which she said was being drawn up in cooperation with the Health Ministry.
She also announced detailed standards for elderly care which would apply for all homes in the country as well as quality standards, which would allow for comparisons of homes.