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Nursing staff in Bonn infected: Retirement homes feel well prepared for Corona virus

Nursing staff in Bonn infected : Retirement homes feel well prepared for Corona virus

For the first time, the Corona virus has been discovered in old people's homes in Bonn. Two nursing staff have become infected with the novel virus. However, the institutions consider themselves prepared for the pandemic.

For the first time, the Corona virus has been discovered in old people's homes in Bonn. Two nursing staff have become infected with the novel virus. However, the institutions consider themselves prepared for the pandemic.

It was probably only a matter of time before the first cases of Corona would also appear in nursing homes in Bonn. On Monday afternoon, the city of Bonn announced that two caregivers had become infected with Corona. The question arises, and not for the first time: How well are the nursing homes prepared?

"The employees, relatives and the residents were informed in every detail about the critical situation, the restrictions and the necessary hygiene measures," Marc Biedinger, manager of the senior citizens' centres of the city of Bonn, replied to a request from the GA. In continuous and close coordination with the relevant authorities, such as the municipal health department, the WTG authority and the Bonn crisis management team, the senior citizens' centres consider themselves well prepared, says Biedinger. According to current estimates, the stocks of protective material are sufficient.

However, the stock should also be increased "within the framework of the existing possibilities on the market". Furthermore, pandemic plans have been drawn up in case residents or employees become infected with the virus. At present, however, there is "no infection or suspected case of infection either among residents or employees of the municipal senior citizens' centres".

In times of a ban on visits, the residents of the homes are dependent on good care. "The psycho-social support and services offered by the extensive social services of the facilities provide more than ever a valuable compensation for external visits during this time, as far as this is possible", says Biedinger.

At the Nova Vita Residenz Im Leoninum they are well prepared. "We have very strict hygiene regulations," says managing director Uwe Lüdemann. In addition, the employees in the assisted living area as well as in the fully inpatient area would wear facemasks. Lüdemann rejected the description of a visitor who had turned to the GA because the nurses in the outpatient care there did not wear gloves and facemasks.

The Alloheim senior citizens' residence in Dottendorf, too, considers itself well prepared for the pandemic. "We have a special hygiene plan that we are implementing," says director Christian Kloy. "I have recently experienced a great deal of togetherness among the employees, in the way that they support each other," says Kloy. But he has been "annoyed" lately by how many people have been trying to make a profit from the Corona crisis. "We get a lot of phone calls and e-mails offering us protective masks. One offer was 60 masks for 150 Euro. Usually they cost 49 cents apiece." About such ruthlessness Kloy can only shake his head.

Manuel Moreira is not afraid that the elderly will become very lonely. He heads the Residenz Ambiente in the Endenich district. "Our residents are equipped with a great deal of life experience and are dealing with this crisis pragmatically," Moreira tells the GA. In this way, there would also be social contacts within the institution. Loneliness is therefore virtually impossible. "Nevertheless, the visits of relatives are missing, which is quite natural. We try to compensate for this as much as possible, also with modern methods via social media."

The nursing home is still well equipped with breathing masks and disinfectants. "The stocking of these aids is ensured in this respect in order to be able to control the current condition", Moreira told the GA. "However, as the crisis continues, we are dependent on their being reliably available in the long term". However, the manager assumes that if necessary, the competent authorities will ensure the necessary supply route. "That's how much faith we have in our health care system."

However, the fact that not all nursing homes are equipped with sufficient breathing masks, gowns and disinfectants is evident from the statements of the trade union Verdi. "We have received a lot of inquiries in the past few days", says Arno Appelhoff, trade union secretary for the Bonn location, the GA. A large number of them indeed concern the lack of protective equipment for residents, but also for employees. However, according to Appelhoff, who himself has worked as a nurse for 30 years, the reason is not the thriftiness of the nursing homes, but rather the extremely high demand for these products.

"However, on the basis of the detailed questions received from several senior citizens' centers, it can be assumed that this problem applies to several facilities in Bonn," Appelhoff states. It should also be noted that an additional increase in the workload of the employees in the senior citizens' centers has been recorded due to the ban on relatives entering the facilities. "After all, relatives often relieve the staff of tasks such as feeding," Appelhoff reports. All in all, however, he says, that the employees are very committed to the residents despite the sometimes extraordinary problems.

(Original text: Thomas Leurs. Translation: Mareike Graepel)