“Stop the unacceptable geographic and economic disparities in nursing home access!” This clear and unequivocal message is that of the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, which is today making public its study on an unknown territorial and social divide.
A few months ago, the well-being of the elderly made headlines after the sad revelations about the scandalous treatment of the residents of the nursing homes of the private company OPREA. Today, it’s a different angle of the “ageing well” problem put forward by the UFC-Que Choisir: pure and easy access to retirement homes.
In France, there are on average 102 places in nursing homes for 1,000 people over the age of 75. However, this figure hides strong territorial disparities, the UFC-Que Choisir study reveals. Depending on the department, the number of places can therefore vary from simple to quadruple: while in Lozère there are 169 places for 1,000 inhabitants over 75, in Paris this number drops to 41.
In the same way, if the average price is 2,214 euros per month, in fact, depending on the area, the bills show significant differences. For example, the average price of a room in a nursing home in the Meuse is €1,749 per month, compared to more than €2,500 in the Rhône and Bouches-du-Rhône, €2,623 in Corse-du-Sud, and €2,679 in the Alps -Maritimes eventually peaks at 3,698 euros in Paris.
Focus on public institutions
A gap that is partly explained by the proportion of private institutions that charge “prohibited tariffs” in these areas, the consumer protection association explains. By “Private nursing homes struggle to justify themselves with better quality of service”but reminds the UFC-Que Choisir.
This high cost of private EHPADs can be explained by a better quality of services offered to their residents compared to residents of public EHPADs. This is far from the case if we consider the 55.6% oversight rate in private structures, against 68.1% in public structures, or on the quality of catering or entertainment, which is essential for residents’ morale. In the wake of the shocking book the gravediggersthe recent report of the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs does not underline this.
UFC-What to choose
Therefore, at the end of its study, the association formulates several requests to enable human care at affordable rates throughout the territory. There they are :
- That the creation of new places in Ehpad mainly happens in public structures;
- That private nursing homes all have an obligation to provide sufficient places to qualify for housing assistance;
- A ceiling on price changes for private nursing homes;
- Establishing a mandatory minimum supervisory rate for all branches and bringing these rates to the attention of the consumer;
- That approved health associations are represented on the social life councils of nursing homes, to ensure the well-being of residents.
Common sense solutions to an increasingly pressing problem as the world’s population ages…