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Care is becoming more expensive again – and unaffordable for many: major worries among relatives

2023-12-05T13:48:40.564Z

Highlights: Care is becoming more expensive again – and unaffordable for many: major worries among relatives. Almost 40 percent of nursing home residents can no longer afford care without state assistance. Around 17,600 people in need of care were on social assistance in Upper Bavaria in September. In the highest level of care, the price would increase from 5700 to 6,500 euros, the new level is 3100 euros. In Heim St. Rita in Oberhaching, a resident pays 23,000 euros a year for long-term care.



Status: 05.12.2023, 06:44 a.m.

By: Carina Ottillinger, Katrin Woitsch

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Care costs more and more money. Many of those affected have to apply for social assistance. © Andrea Warnecke

The price of care is rising and rising. Now, at the end of the year, another hundred euros. As a result, more and more people are dependent on social assistance in old age. A relative reports how all the savings for his wife's care are gradually being used up.

Munich - Andreas Ross has a modest wish: he wants his wife to be well cared for, to be well cared for in the home. A good three years ago, he was all the more grateful to have found an excellent home for her in Augsburg. He wanted a room with a view of the garden, which was only available as a twin room. His wife lives there alone. The price was worth it to him that she has the big window. But the cost of the home is rising and rising. Just a few months ago, Ross had to pay 6194 euros for it, now it is already around 6600 euros. The long-term care insurance covers just 1775 euros of this.

Care is becoming more expensive: Man could soon be dependent on social assistance

The 71-year-old has worked all his life. Nevertheless, he could soon be dependent on social assistance when all his reserves are used up. They melt away month after month. For the care of his wife, both pensions are completely spent, everything else he needs to live on he has to finance from his savings. And he is enough of a realist to calculate that prices will continue to rise. Andreas Ross has no one to talk to about these concerns – except for the other relatives in the home.

We need to rethink care. The current system has no future.

Yvonne Knobloch, Vdk

Worries among relatives: Care is becoming more and more expensive

After all, his concerns are shared by almost all people who are dependent on care for themselves or a relative. In recent weeks, they have been informed by mail that costs will continue to rise. The reasons for this are the increased costs for food and energy, but also the wage increases for nursing staff. Both are passed on by the facilities directly to those in need of care. Already at the beginning of July, the co-payments for care in the home had skyrocketed, now the costs will be increased again retroactively from October. The amount of benefits in kind, on the other hand, will only increase by five percent from January, explains Yvonne Knobloch, head of the department for life in old age at the VdK social association.

This will hardly compensate for the price increases. As a result, care is becoming increasingly unaffordable for even more people. The VdK is already receiving many calls for help because of this, reports Knobloch. And this applies not only to care in nursing homes, but also to outpatient care services. She fears that in the future, many of those affected will think carefully about which care services they can or want to use. "This will put even more pressure on relatives," she predicts.

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According to the Biva Care Protection Association, almost 40 percent of nursing home residents can no longer afford care without state assistance. This is also confirmed by the district's figures. In Upper Bavaria, around 17,600 people in need of care were dependent on social assistance in September. Six months earlier, the figure was 14,600. In the homes of Caritas in Upper Bavaria, almost every third resident now receives social assistance, reports Doris Schneider, the managing director of the Caritas homes of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. Caritas has been negotiating with the cost bearers, the nursing care funds and the district about the price increases for weeks. In Heim St. Rita in Oberhaching, a resident currently pays 2300 euros, the new price is 3100 euros. In the highest level of care 5, the price would increase from 5700 to 6500 euros.

It is no longer possible to finance one's own contribution to long-term care with a normal pension.

Letter from relatives to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach

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"We need to rethink care"

The VdK social association – as well as the Bavarian District Council – has long been calling for long-term care insurance to be converted into comprehensive long-term care insurance. As a result, the personal contribution of the care costs would be frozen to a fixed amount. The original goal of long-term care insurance was to ensure that those who have worked all their lives are not dependent on social assistance because of the need for long-term care. A goal that is becoming more and more unrealistic. "We need to rethink care," says Yvonne Knobloch. "The current system has no future."

In the meantime, Andreas Ross from Augsburg has joined forces with the other relatives in the home and written a letter to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). "The personal contribution to care can no longer be financed with a normal pension," they write. This also means that many homes are no longer fully occupied, which means that the homes have to contend with even more financial gaps. "We implore you not to let it come to a collapse in care," the Augsburg team appealed to Lauterbach. They sent the letter five weeks ago. They didn't get a reaction.

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Source: merkur

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