Families forced to help out in Dutch care homes

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A Dutch healthcare organisation is planning to make it mandatory for families of residents to help out in nursing homes.

Dutch daily Nederlands Dagblad reports that the Vierstroom Group is going to apply the measure in two of its homes for elderly people suffering from dementia. Families will have to spend a minimum of four hours per month carrying out duties aimed at improving residents’ well-being.

A spokesperson said families would not be expected to perform tasks such as administering medicine or washing patients, but would be asked to keep them company, chatting or going for a walk for instance.
It is not yet certain what the consequences will be for families who refuse to cooperate. “Perhaps something like a lower place on the waiting list for new residents” said the spokesperson, “But we really don’t want to have to do something like that. We would always keep a dialogue going with the family”.

The organisation believes the measure is necessary to ensure good quality of care. If this experiment is a success, it will be extended to all of Vierstroom’s nursing homes.