Danish care homes ‘leave old in wet nappies’

One in three staff in Danish old people's homes admit residents are left sitting in wet nappies "several times a week", according to a survey which has generated an angry reaction from the Danish opposition.

Danish care homes 'leave old in wet nappies'
Dinne, a resident at Egvad Nursing Home. Photo: Tommy Kofoed/Scanpix
According to the published in Denmark’s Politiken newspaper on Sunday, 30 percent of survey of the country's 1,400 nursing home employees said that residents in their homes were left for too long in the same nappy “because there was no time to change it”.
This is double the number who gave the same answer in a similar survey in 2013. 
“It is grotesque and unacceptable that we have reached this point,” said Liselott Blixt, health spokesperson for the populist Danish People’s Party. 
“It must be possible to treat the elderly with greater dignity and respect,” said May-Britt Kattrup, health spokesperson for the Liberal Alliance party. 
The survey, carried out by the Denmark’s FOA union, found that only 53 percent of respondents felt they were able “to provide dignified care”, down from nearly two thirds in 2013. As many as 16 percent of nursing home staff said that their ability to provide dignified care was “poor”. 
As well as forcing residents to sit in wet nappies, nearly a third of nursing home staff several times a week forced those in their care to wear nappies even though they wanted to use a toilet, the survey found.
“Karen Stæhr, who leads FOA’s health and social care division, said the figures were alarming.
“It is out of order to ask a person to use a nappy if they want assistance to go to the toilet,” she told Politiken. 
“Elderly people who move to a nursing home should, as far as possible, have the same quality of life that they had before,” she continued. “They should be able to decide what and when they want to eat, to go to the toilet or have their nappy changed if necessary, to get into decent clothes and get out in the fresh air.” 
Sophie Løhde, the minister for health and old age care with the ruling Liberal Party said that the survey’s findings were “not acceptable” and were “a sign that something is not right”. 

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