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High demand for homes for the elderly!

Reda Sawaya wrote in the news:

“Lebanon is one of the Arab countries experiencing a rapid demographic transition towards aging. The results of the 2012 National Survey of Household Living Conditions show a significant increase in the number of elderly people over 65 years of age, reaching 11.9% of the total population residing in Lebanon, and is expected to exceed 14% by 2035,” according to the study “Social and Economic Priorities for Seniors.” Age in Lebanon: Livelihoods with Dignity” (2018), issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs in partnership with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

And to the deteriorating living conditions and the high cost of health care and the price of medicines, the demand for shelters increases “the departure of thousands of foreign workers, a large percentage of whom cared for the elderly at home,” according to Malik Maroun, executive director of the Maronite Care Home, stressing, “I receive more than 10 Daily calls, and the center is unable to receive any new inmates.” The director of one of the nursing homes noted, “We are unable to accept any additional requests, in order to preserve as much as possible the quality that we offer to the elderly we care for. Basically who can pay for the shelters? We ask for one million pounds a month, but no one is able to pay it.”

5 million pounds, the cost of caring for the elderly per month, from which the Ministry of Affairs pays 525 thousand pounds

The costs incurred by shelters have risen dramatically, while incomes are “almost non-existent.” Maroun points out that “the cost of monthly care for one elderly person has risen to about 5 million pounds, without taking into account the cost of the hospital if we had to admit him to it, while what we are supposed to receive from the Ministry of Social Affairs about the elderly does not exceed 525,000 pounds.” monthly. The ministry pays only 17,500 pounds per day for the elderly, knowing that the Ministry of Affairs has not paid us any dues for two years.” The same applies to the Ministry of Health, “which pays 26,350 pounds as a daily allowance for the elderly, which rose to 52 thousand pounds at the beginning of last month, and we only receive our dues every two years. These sums were not enough for us to take care of the elderly during the 1500 days, so how today? Knowing that the care contract is either with the Ministry of Health or with the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the elderly cannot benefit from two care contracts at the same time.”
The absence of the Ministry of Health extends to hospitalization, “which is the source of the greatest fear. There is no such thing as 100% coverage. If the elderly person has relatives who ask about him and are able to pay the hospitalization difference, and in the case of the opposite, we bear the cost,” says Maroun.

In light of this reality, shelters are struggling to maintain a minimum level of decent care for the elderly, with many difficult measures being taken. According to the director of the shelter in the north, “we used to cull the elderly 5 times a day, but now we cull him 3 or 4 times. The price of one diaper is 10 thousand pounds. Even the use of shovage for heating is subject to regulation whenever we can or find that the weather is warm.” Bouaun points out that “the elderly used to break their fast daily with brick and cheese. Today we focus more on thyme. As for meat, its use in cooking has become dependent on the aid we receive and the fact that some people provide it to us. The priority is medicine. In turn, Maroun points out, “We still provide meat. But we reduced our consumption of fish.”


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