Government to Streamline Private Nursing Home Assistance for the Elderly

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Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, states a point??during a press conference to launch a booklet outlining criteria for??licensing of nursing homes and private hospitals.???? Also pictured, Dr. Joy St. John, Chief Medical Officer. (right of Minister)(A.Miller/BGIS)??

Persons who rely on Government funds to place elderly relatives in privately run nursing homes will be subjected to a means test to ascertain their ability to make some contribution towards the care of their relations.

This was stated by Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, during a press conference to launch a booklet outlining the criteria for the licensing of private hospitals and nursing homes in Barbados, recently at the Ministry of Health.

According to him, Government did not have the resources to place large numbers of persons in such facilities.?? "Those who are going into a private nursing home and seeking assistance from the Government will be subjected to a rigorous means test to ascertain what level of contribution they can make towards their [the relative’s] care.??

"The reality is that Government is not in a position to pay for this entirely.?? So, those who [are] getting good pensions or have other assets should be able to assist themselves," the Minister explained.

Mr. Inniss also pointed out that Government was still advocating and would support the establishment of day care facilities for the elderly.?? "Too many Barbadians are now feeling obligated to quit their jobs or to stay at home to take care of their mother or father…to deal with issues that require constant surveillance.?? This would also prevent a situation of overcrowding in homes," he added.

The Health Minister also revealed that his Ministry was working on the development of a partnership with the Ministries of Social Care and Family to develop a protocol which would articulate the process for referral of cases from the Ministry of Health and its facilities, over to other social agencies.

??"Some persons may be able to stay in their home environment once they are provided with a ramp or wheel chair; it is not the duty of the Ministry of Health to provide a ramp or a wheelchair.?? Some may need day care services… [or] a visit from the National Assistance Board once or twice a week…" he clarified.??

kim.ramsay-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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