The workers of a nursing home in Salvaterra do Miño (Pontevedra) denounce the daunting situation in which there is a center with capacity for 108 elderly people and that currently has a total of 95 positives for COVID, among users and workers. The center, according to the letter sent to the Xunta de Galicia, lacks the minimum hygiene measures and provides a service that does not guarantee the right to dignity of the people who live inside. Elderly people who are locked up, who sleep on broken mattresses and whose medicine droppers hang from lamps. The center, which was intervened by the Xunta two weeks ago, lacks hygiene material and, according to its workers, there is a basin for every 30 inmates with which the daily cleaning tasks are carried out. The Feijóo Government assures that it will study the complaint signed by the Association of Workers of Residences of Galicia (Trega).
In the complaint, addressed to the General Technical Secretariat and the General Directorate of Maiores e Persoas con Discapacidade, the association assures that the dependencies of the center “do not meet the minimum conditions of maintenance or health, not only to serve the elderly, but to any type of accommodation “. Trega explains that the beds in the residence “are not clinical” and that they cannot be raised, something “fundamental” for those who suffer from respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19, and to administer food, since ” they can choke and suffer severe aspiration resulting in death. ” This leads to employees having “the only option to put a pillow underneath.” The mattresses “are not memory foam but spring and are totally broken and dirty”, while there are no technical aids such as cranes to move the elderly or lift them to change their diapers.
The rooms also have material “deficiencies” and “no maintenance”. In fact, they don’t even have dropper sticks to hang intravenous medication, which has to be hung “from the lamps.” In addition to this, residents “remain locked in their rooms,” a practice contrary to social services regulations. “A residence is not a prison. Although isolation must be fulfilled (due to COVID-19), users must have the possibility to ask for help if they need it,” says the workers’ association.
Poor staff facilities
Regarding staff dependencies, Trega reports that “the shower trays are broken and rusted and their use involves a health risk”. “In addition, the entire locker room is in a mess, the lockers do not have a key and are permanently open, there are clothes hanging outside them,” the association continues in its letter, in which it recalls that the center has dozens of employees infected with COVID- 19.
In this sense, Trega acknowledges that the Xunta sent reinforcements for the staff after the intervention, but explains that the gymnasium was enabled as a changing room, a site that they use “as a special warehouse for everything” and in which “there is no lockers, no toilets, no shower. ”
Nor is there “the minimum stock of material” for professionals to carry out their work, so, always according to Trega, for toilets and diaper changes for bedridden people “they only have one basin for every 30 users”.
The Department of Social Policy, which has been in charge of the nursing home since the end of October, has assured Europa Press that it will “carefully analyze” everything that the Galician Residences Workers’ association relates. “In the event that a breach of the regulations is found, as is natural and as in all cases, action will be taken accordingly,” added the Administration.