staff shortageWim Janssen (85) from Handel in Brabant (municipality of Gemert-Bakel) was struck by a cerebral infarction on Friday. Now he is languishing in a room in a nursing home in Rotterdam.
“It is heartbreaking that he is sitting there, far away from his familiar surroundings. He also really talks Gímmers, I don’t think they can even understand him there,” says Anne-Belle Janssen, Wim’s youngest daughter.
Wim Janssen used to work as a bricklayer and has been married to 83-year-old Jo for over 60 years. ,,A tree of a guy of 120 kilos. And he always preferred to spend all day in the woods with his beloved police dog club. But now he is stuck between four walls in Rotterdam.”
He had to go to a rehabilitation ward of a nursing home. But he couldn’t go anywhere in the region
Her eldest brother had to find another address for Wim’s sheepdog. Last Friday, her father suffered a serious stroke.
“Until that time, he and my mother still lived completely independently in a senior home in Handel. He had previously had minor strokes. He kept coming back to that. My father is very combative.”
But on Friday he became paralyzed on one side, there was no way to fight against that. “The fire brigade had to lift him out of the house with six men on a stretcher.”
It is difficult for my mother. Now he’s so bad, and then she can’t just visit him
Staying at home was no longer possible. “He had to go to a rehabilitation ward of a nursing home. But he had nowhere to go in the region. Perhaps that it was an acute situation, I don’t know,” says Anne-Belle Janssen. ,,We received help from a dementia case manager and he really tried everything. There were enough beds, but not enough staff.”
A brother and brother-in-law took her father in their car to the place where he could still go, a residential care center of Humanitas in Rotterdam-North. She now catches herself thinking it would be better if he wasn’t so combative and gave up.
She realizes that the transition to a nursing home is always a big one. ,,But it really isn’t like that for him. He just sits there in his room. It is very difficult for my mother. Now he is doing so badly, and then she can’t just visit him. It is also sad for us children and his grandchildren. He lives for his grandchildren, they are everything to him.”
If we have to do this to the elderly in a rich country like the Netherlands, something is not going well at all.
She did go there with other family members to bring a TV and some other stuff. ,,And yesterday a friend of their neighbor was kind enough to drive my mother to Rotterdam and also back home. But that distance, that’s a real problem. As children, we don’t have the time to take such a ride often, because of our work and our families. And what about the fuel costs. A return ticket easily costs 50 euros.”
Nursing homes are struggling with staff shortages
Nursing homes in the region are experiencing a lack of staff forced to leave beds empty, as it turned out last summer at the October care institution. These problems also exist elsewhere. Branch organization ActiZ speaks of an unbridgeable gap between the demand for care and the supply.
Janssen herself knows how hard healthcare employees sometimes have to cope with, because she herself works in care for the disabled. “But I can’t imagine that this is really necessary. I hope that there will soon be a place for my father near Gemert. If we have to do this to the elderly in a rich country like the Netherlands, something is not going well at all.”
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