Saturday 22 January 2022

Care providers criticised for charging elderly up to €50 for a fall


Care service providers have come under fire for charging elderly people extra if they use the personal alarm in their homes too frequently.

Aafje Thuiszorg bills its customers €37.50 after a third fall or incident that its staff respond to in a year, while at the De Merwelanden sheltered housing complex in Dordrecht the charge is €49.95 after a third emergency call-out. The charges are in addition to the monthly fee of up to €25.

Pensioners’ rights organisation ANBO said people who wanted to live independently should not be penalised if they have a fall at home. ‘People should feel safe at all times and not be deterred from asking for help,’ spokesman Renee de Vries told AD.

Care home manager Johan Renting, of De Merwelanden, said the charges were justified. ‘People sometimes think everything is free, but as a care institution we can’t allow ourselves to provide a free service,’ he said.

Residents at De Merwelanden are required to have the alarm system connected in their apartments and are not allowed to arrange an alternative provider.


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