While the quality of most nursing homes in the Netherlands is good, some need to take better care of their residents’ human rights, according to a new report by the Dutch human rights committee College voor de Rechten van de Mens.
The report looked at six care homes to find out if the rights of the frail elderly are being respected. While the homes worked hard to provide good care, more can be done in terms of the ‘little things’, the report said.
Too many home residents don’t have enough to do and many don’t have their own room to retire too, which they can experience as being ‘inhuman and belittling’, the report said.
In one home, residents are not allowed to use their own sheets and duvet covers because it is easier if everyone uses white ones. ‘I really cried about that. It was not my home,’ one resident is quoted as saying.
Other examples include addressing elderly people as ‘je’ (the informal form of you) or by their first names, a lack of privacy during washing and rare outside excursions.
‘We are talking about vulnerable people who are dependent on others,’ the committee’s chairwoman Adriana van Dooijeweert told Trouw. ‘They have the right not to be treated in an inhuman way.’
Some 160,000 people in the Netherlands live in a nursing home.