Rising home costs drive residents into the poverty trap | NDR.de – Nachrichten – Lower Saxony


Status: 03/27/2021 8:00 a.m.

Since better wages have been called for in long-term care, the costs for old people’s homes have exploded. Those in need of care and their relatives must shoulder these themselves. Many end up in social welfare.

by Christina Harland

Yvonne Gorka’s grandmother received the increase in January. The home where she has put her 89-year-old grandmother sent a hefty bill. An additional 600 euros per month in personal contribution were due in the future. That is an increase of 47 percent to now 1,832.30 euros. The old lady’s pension is not enough at around 1,100 euros. Now almost the entire salary of the driving instructor goes towards the grandmother’s home expenses. She couldn’t do it on her own: “At the moment I work almost exclusively for my grandmother. Without my partner’s income, I wouldn’t be able to get by.”

District rejects application for social assistance

Yvonne Gorka applied for social assistance for her grandmother, the so-called help for care. But the responsible district of Nienburg does not want to take over that. Because: Grandma Christine had co-financed the house for her granddaughter years ago, the grandmother had to reclaim this according to the current legal situation in order to cover her home costs herself. Yvonne Gorka is the only member of the family who is left with the costs.

VDEK determines a 73 percent increase in own shares

Exploding home costs meanwhile drive many people into existential need. The Association of Substitute Funds (VDEK) has calculated the increase over the past three years:

The average self-contribution to the pure care costs in the home has increased in Lower Saxony by a whopping 73 percent during the period: from 376 euros per month to 649 euros. In addition, there are payments for board and lodging as well as the so-called investment costs for the maintenance of the facility. On average, a home place in Lower Saxony costs 1,767 euros. That is more than the average pension in Lower Saxony: According to the German Pension Atlas, it is 1,423 euros.

Huge coverage gap is growing

For Marion Schaper from the “Alliance for Social Justice”, the exploding home costs are a scandal. As a diaconal representative, she provides information on the subject with unions and associations in the Nienburg district. And it warns of a further widespread wave of increases in April. That could even bring home costs of 2,000 euros. “In any other area one would say: Such an increase is immoral. Here, however, it affects the groups that cannot defend themselves, those who were also defined as particularly in need of protection during the pandemic. They have been protected to some extent from the virus , but now they are not being protected from a financial crash. We are calling for a socially acceptable cap on the shares. ”

Counties react with concern

The Lower Saxony District Association also sees a maximum overburdening not only for people with small pensions. Many people, reports managing director Hubert Meyer, come to the county’s contact points and worry about their savings. They are rightly frustrated when they have to rely on government aid in old age. “We become victims of our own socio-political development. We fought hard to ensure that we had collectively agreed wages in nursing and that we got an improved staff structure in the nursing homes, that has largely been implemented,” says Meyer. “But the costs that are caused there have to be borne solely by the people in need of care and their relatives, because the long-term care insurance only pays a capped amount. Long-term care insurance is a partially comprehensive insurance.” Anything beyond that would have to be carried by those in need of care and their relatives. Meyer therefore calls for a clear discharge on the part of the federal government.

Hope for the care reform

Many hope that this relief could be brought about by the planned nursing reform that Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to initiate during this legislative period. In fact, in the first draft presented by the minister, a long-term cap on the own shares was planned. But apparently there is not much left of it. Now there is talk of a gradual cap. Home residents would only benefit from this after several years in the home. The average length of stay in old people’s and nursing homes is only one and a half to two years.


8 Min

An increase in nursing home costs is causing discussion. While the contributions from the long-term care insurance funds remain fixed, the home residents alone pay the skyrocketing prices. (22.09.2020) 8 min

Reform must be turned on its head

Heinz Rothgang, nursing researcher at the University of Bremen, knows the revised draft and doubts that the reform – if it is passed – will bring the desired relief: “There will be relief in the short term, but the long-term solution, which is actually in the key points was intended, is now no longer included in the draft. ” He hoped that in the course of the legislative process, the original idea of ​​an absolute cap on own shares will be put up for discussion again.

Nursing researcher calls for “great success”

Anyway, a great success is needed. There is no other way to cope with the problems in financing care, according to Rothgang. He advocates a so-called base-top swap. “At the moment it is like this: The long-term care insurance pays a fixed amount and everything that comes in addition is paid by the person in need of care – and that has to be turned around. The person in need of care pays a fixed contribution that is calculable and pays for everything that goes beyond that long-term care insurance. ” However, there is not much time left for politics in this legislative period.

additional Information

Four senior women sit on a bench.  © dpa - picture alliance Photo: Uli Deck

The co-payment for accommodation rose nationwide by 63 euros per month to 1,767 euros compared to the previous year. (27.01.2021) more

Glance into the hallway of a nursing home.  © dpa

Home residents in Lower Saxony have to pay more. (07/31/2020) more

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Hello Lower Saxony | 03/27/2021 | 19:30 o’clock

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