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Thousands of jobless to care for German dementia patients

Thousands of jobless to care for German dementia patients

Published on: 17 Aug 2008 12:01 CET

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A spokeswoman for the German Employment Agency (BA) confirmed to the Suddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday that groups are already being formed to apply for the training and eventually the jobs.

But care professionals are alarmed, pointing to lesser training schemes for the long-term unemployed. Care expert Claus Fussek told the paper, “You cannot just send anyone to work in this stressful profession.”

A new law which took effect on July 1, means that a care home can employ an extra worker for every 25 dementia patients, and that the cost would be covered by insurance companies.

These extra workers are expected to spend personal time with the dementia sufferers, giving them things to do and taking care of their needs.

But Helmut Wallrafen-Dreisow, of German Age Care said, “Putting dementia care on the same level as painting, reading and going for walks is outrageous.

“The insurance companies always want to get things as cheaply as possible while the homes should continue to meet the highest standards. These things do not fit together.”

The jobless people selected to do the training for dementia care will be given 100 hours of theory instruction, 60 hours of practice and several internships, the Suddeutsche Zeitung said.

In contrast, the training to become a qualified health care assistant takes 900 hours, a spokesman for Germany’s Alzheimer’s Society said.