TT Health And Life :
According to Turkey’s Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, there are 153 aged care homes across the country. The number of aged people living in these care homes is 13 thousand 868.
The elderly are among the groups most affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But, what is happening in aged care homes in this period and how do their residents feel amid the pandemic?
The coronavirus cases diagnosed in the Ankara Balgat 75. Yıl Aged Care Home and an aged care home worker who has tested positive in Zonguldak show that the elderly cannot be protected from the virus.
On the other side, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice Chair Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi submitted a Parliamentary question regarding the aged care home in Balgat, Ankara on October 2.
In her Parliamentary question addressed to Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Akkuş İlgezdi asked the causes of the infection in the aged care home and the number of cases in this specific institution as well as all aged care homes in Turkey.
‘The Ministry is in utter silence’
MALAKA GHARIB/NPR (“I am fine” “Yes, but ‘how’ do you really feel?”)
Speaking to bianet about the issue, CHP Vice Chair Akkuş İlgezdi has indicated that her question has not been answered for over a month:
“As in the case of all issues that fall within its domain, the Ministry is in an utter silence about this issue as well. It engages in an intellectual blackout, so to speak. It has been over a month since the question was submitted; if you look at the webpage of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), you see the sentence, ‘It has been published in the section on papers that have come because of not being answered within due time.’
“This attitude is, in fact, the clearest example of how the understanding of ‘Life goes on’ has leached into the capillaries of the state.”
‘Government’s understanding of social state: Alms’
Akkuş İlgezdi has also noted that she has so far submitted 135 Parliamentary questions to Minister Selçuk about the pandemic, but only 16 of these questions have been answered by the Minister.
“Sharing window-dressed statistics and arguing that the requests for information require a separate study, they act as if the problems did not exist,” the CHP Vice Chair has protested and briefly added:
“The Ministry of Family and Social Policies and the Ministry of Labor have been gathered under the same roof. The Ministries have driven the bureaucracy to a deadlock; the problems of disadvantaged groups, namely the elderly, people with disabilities and pensioners, have not been addressed as meticulously as necessary. Coupled with the deepening economic crisis, public institutions have naturally preferred a policy of utter silence in the face of society’s problems which have become chronic.
“Today, the government’s understanding of social state does not go beyond a policy of alms within the frame of taught poverty.”
‘Being an Aged Person during Pandemic’ guide
It is possible for the aged people in Turkey to know, protect and defend their rights of autonomy, participation, care and self-realization, just as it is possible to protect and improve their life quality during the pandemic. That is why, Social Service Specialist Şadiye Dönümcü has prepared a guide of “Pandemide Yaşlı Olmak” (Being an Aged Person during Pandemic).
Not only does the guide include the sudden measures taken across the country, but it also indicates that the aged feel lonely and desperate, have problems sleeping and suffer from increasing levels of anxiety and fear.
Intended as a solution for these problems, the report offers methods for both the aged and their relatives to live through the pandemic in peace without facing any violations of rights.
Source : bianet.org