Several Dutch nursing homes have written to relatives to help take care of their families due to a shortage of staff, AD reported Thursday.

For example, Thebe Group asked relatives of residents of 23 long-term care facilities to help them take a shower, wear support stockings, and eat. “This frees up the nursing staff,” a spokesman told the treatise.

Amsterdam’s nursing home Amsta made a similar request, encouraging relatives to have coffee and play games with their families. “When there is a shortage of staff, these things happen first, which is why we are asking for your help,” said a letter to relatives.

Zubole and Hardenberg’s homes are also asking relatives to join, and the Ons Tweede Thuis organization, which cares for children with disabilities, is asking parents to take care of household chores such as cooking.

An organization spokesman said, “Without staff, the store can be closed, but we can’t.”

Aging population

Actis, a sector organization, warns that as the population ages, letters are a taste of what is to come. “We must abandon the idea that we can rely on professional care if we need help,” a spokesman told AD.

“As a society, we must first ask what patients can do, what families can do, how technology can help, and, as a last resort, what the care department can do. Hmm.”

Long-term care minister Connie Herder has already called for a “transformation” in the long-term care sector by 2040. In particular, we want to focus on helping older people take care of themselves for as long as possible by using technology.

For example, a robot can be used to dispense tablets, but incontinence supplies with sensors inform staff when patients need to pay attention.

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