The Government proposes to end the macro residences and the restraints of the elderly

The Government proposes to end the macro residences and the restraints of the elderly

The Ministry of Social Rights is finalizing an agreement with the unions and employers of the nursing homes who wants these centers to be what plus resembling a homerecognize the right to privacy of residents and end the controversial restraintswhether physical, mechanical, chemical or pharmacological.

The changes are motivated because the first months of the pandemic showed that care in geriatrics is frankly improvable. The sector and families have been asking for more staff and better care for a decade, but their demands have fallen on deaf ears until the arrival of the virus has caused the problem on the agenda of all administrations. However, the Catalan parliament is the only institution in Spain that is going to investigate what happened during the hard confinement in residences, where a third of those who died from coronavirus have died.


On the other hand, a negotiation has been opened by the Government with experts, the employers' association and the unions to establish some minimum requirements which is quite advanced, according to Social Rights sources, and will shortly be submitted for approval by the industry conferencesince it is the communities that have the powers and can expand or complete the requirements that are approved.

Social Rights has brought a document to the social dialogue table, to which it has had access THE NEWSPAPER, newspaper that belongs to this same group, Prensa Ibérica, which proposes that within a maximum period of three years the "total abolition" of the restraints is undertaken physical, mechanical, chemical or pharmacological. The proposal comes after the death of a person suffocated by the straps in a residential center in Madrid.

The document contemplates the use of restraints only in "exceptional and urgently needed" situations, in which there is an "imminent danger" for the user, caregivers or third parties, provided that the failure of other measures has been verified.

More personal

Likewise, the proposal for Social Rights increase the number of inspectors to 1 for every 25 centers and improves the staff ratio by raising it to 0.43 per resident, which means five workers for a coexistence unit of 15 people.

Another of the great novelties of the minimum requirements agreement is the limitation of places. If approved, it would put an end to the macro-residences, given that the newly built ones must have as maximum 90 places, in coexistence units of 15 people. And the residences already built must carry out works to divide them into spaces for at most 90 people (within 7 years). For residential centers for people with disabilities, the limit is 50 places.

The intimacy

The purpose of the Government is that life in these centers is the closest thing to a home, where the coexistence units have equipment and a structure similar to that of the houses and where the elderly are provided with the support they need for their daily lives. "A model where preferences, lifestyle and Rights of each person are at the center", as explained by Social Rights.

Finally, the proposal advances towards the recognition of the right to privacy by proposing that 35% of the rooms in the current residences be individual and 65% in those of new construction. Likewise, nursing homes will be promoted to be located in Urban ground, to avoid situations of unwanted loneliness.

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