AGE members say it’s time to re-open residential care premises

The vaccination rates in care homes are rapidly rising around Europe as older people living in such premises were prioritised in most countries. But decisions are still awaited to relax the measures constraining visits and activities in residential care settings.

  • grandma-grandson-hugging-together2-photo_from_VlaamseOuderenraad In Denmark, visit restrictions have been eased in the region of Herning; the older people’s association DaneAge (Ældre Sagen) calls for a plan extending easing visitation restrictions at all the country’s nursing homes.
  • In France, the Council of State has just deemed disproportionate the ban made by the State to older residents of care institutions from outings. This decision echoes a recent call by care homes directors (AD-PA) and residents (Citoyennage) to restore the freedoms that have been put on hold now that a majority of care home residents have been vaccinated.
  • In Germany, the National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (BAGSO) asked for normalising life in long-term care residences as soon as all people who wish to do so will have been vaccinated. For those not wanting to be vaccinated, the association calls for protective equipment (FFP2 masks) and fast tests for visitors. Visits should be made possible within residents’ rooms and also contact between residents should be made possible again.

Belgium carefully re-opens care centres

Good news, a breath of fresh air for the residents and their families“, commented Anne Jaumotte, project manager for Énéo.

Hope is coming from Belgium where residential care centres where 90% of the residents and 70% of the staff have been vaccinated with two doses can allow more contacts between residents and with visitors 10 days after the second dose was injected.

In Flanders, our member Vlaamse Ouderenraad welcomed the news announced by the Taskforce Covid-19 Care that relaxation in the measures would be allowed for residents of care centers. In Wallonia, our member Enéo received a similar news from the regional authorities with great relieve.

Older people at large wait for relaxed measures

One year after the implementation of the first containment measures, many people are impatient to return to a normalised social life. Older people make no exception.

In Austria, PVÖ relayed the desire of a growing number of older persons to return to normal life without curfews, isolation measures and lockdowns. According to the Pensioners’ Association of Austria, the fivefold protection composed of vaccines, tests, FFP2 masks, distancing and hygienic measures should make it possible. PVÖ adds that the availability of free fast tests in Austrian pharmacies to self-test for COVID-19 is a game changer.

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