Tense mood – situation in nursing homes: “Mask must accompany us”


The relaxation of the corona measures heralds the summer. However, these cannot be placed everywhere. There is still little relaxation in nursing homes; masks will probably have to be used in the long run. Christof Zamberger from the social welfare association Liezen (Styria) with his assessment.

„krone“: What do you wish for the coming summer?
Christopher Zamberger:
I would like the staff to be able to charge for two to three weeks on vacation. Many are already at the breaking point and beyond. If Corona were over by September, we would mobilize all our reserves again. But we don’t know when it will stop. In the summer we will again have the impression that the pandemic is over and in the fall we will be surprised again that school starts and it gets cold in the winter. But this time we don’t rely on the government, we prepare. I can only recommend implementing your own concepts; For example, to participate in training sessions and to get more protective equipment.

Do you believe in normality in nursing homes?
It can’t be the way it used to be. In fact, I hope that the mask will continue to accompany us. Fortunately, the willingness to wear them has increased and hand hygiene has also improved.

Would you have liked certain measures to be continued?
As soon as face masks became mandatory for the first time, we knew what was going to happen. I am happy for the staff that they can participate in the social life, but it was hard for us. And although testing is not mandatory at the moment, we do it anyway: not so extensively, but if someone shows symptoms.

How is the situation at your home right now?
There is mass disagreement: among staff, caregivers and family members. Some homes have recently experienced up to 50 percent staff shortages despite high vaccination coverage. Even ten percent is difficult for us: we cannot reduce production or postpone operations; we have to hold everything for 24 hours. The residents naturally feel the tension and stress. They are not badly cared for, but other activities, such as sitting together, have declined. During the quarantine there are no visitors either, many are lonelier. It is also dramatic for relatives, because every day counts. They may no longer see their own mother or father.

What needs to change?
It is time to openly address the failures to finally implement reform that is twenty years too late. We need good structures and opportunities to support family members outside the home. Our challenging but beautiful profession deserves it. Our door is always open to provide insight and expertise.

Source: Krone


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