Monitoring of Privately Funded Long-Term Care Facilities for Older People

In 2023, the Public Defender's Office monitored privately funded long-term care facilities for older people in Tbilisi, Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli. Monitoring revealed several important problems that require urgent response.

Among the issues identified, the lack of awareness of the State about the privately funded institutions for older people is particularly acute. It should be noted that there are no established legal standards for the activities of such institutions and they are not subject to state control. Even the heads of the institutions do not have information about the established minimum standards of care for older people.

As the monitoring made it clear, the rights of older people are violated as early as they are admitted to the facility. In particular, the application for the admission does not clearly state the will of the older person, and often, the application is signed by a family member instead of the older person himself.

The infrastructure of some of the institutions is poor and beneficiaries live in severely unsanitary, degrading conditions. Care for them is mainly limited to meeting their hygienic and physiological needs, which does not even meet the minimum requirements for care.

Older people are often subject to discrimination, live in a situation that violates their dignity, and most of them do not know anything about their rights. Health care is neglected in the institutions; The food standard is not observed either. The composition of the menu is poor and homogeneous.

Services do not take into account the emotional vulnerability of older beneficiaries and their mental health is not adequately addressed, despite the high number of beneficiaries with psychiatric problems.

Challenges related to the qualifications and labour rights of the staff employed in the institutions are also evident. Caregivers do not have special knowledge about the care needs of the older people, nor do they have opportunities for professional development. In addition, the standards of distribution of beneficiaries are violated, which leads to overburdening of some employees.

The results of the monitoring carried out in the long-term care facilities once again prove the need to implement the recommendation of the Public Defender - regarding the necessity to create state care standards for the functioning of care institutions of all legal forms and financing, as well as an effective monitoring mechanism for their fulfillment.

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