Nursing in Germany: Nurses earn more money – now patients are afraid of rising costs

This article first appeared on RTL.

Nursing in Germany: Nurses earn more money – now patients are afraid of rising costs

This article first appeared on RTL.de

Anyone in need of care or caring for their parents or partner does not have it easy anyway - but now it's going to be tough again. The personal contribution for care will probably increase significantly. The reason is basically a good one: nurses will get more money from September 1st. But because the financing is unclear, associations fear that it will also be more expensive for those being cared for.

Fritz Kempter is 95 years old and lives in the Seniorenpark Leipzig. He would like to fight to ensure that his care is and remains safe here. But the rising costs make him very concerned. "Then the time is near when I'm sitting there and can no longer pay for the home." His own contribution will probably increase by around 250 euros from September. Higher costs due to inflation overall and rising wages make care in Germany more expensive.

"For many people, the increasing personal contribution in a nursing home is a huge problem because people can hardly pay now if they have to go to a facility or need an outpatient nursing service," said Verena Bentele from the VdK social association in an RTL interview. And that could be lead to family members caring for their relatives at home for much longer, which "then leads to the brink of exhaustion and unreasonableness", care home manager Sophie Fries also fears.

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) also warns of price increases for those affected. This should not happen, said DGB board member Anja Piel of the German Press Agency and appealed to the traffic light coalition to quickly tackle the promised reforms to finance care. "Agreeing to collective agreements is good news for care workers who have been waiting for fair wages for far too long," said DGB board member Piel. "But it's a scandal to charge those in need of care and their families with the costs." Those in need of care needed relief, she warned. "Price increases of several hundred euros per month plus rising energy and food costs in nursing homes mean existential hardship for many people."

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) promises a cap on the personal contribution: "Significant cost increases are imminent, wages are generally too low and the wage adjustment must therefore happen now, but the personal contribution must be limited, and we will take appropriate steps in this legislative period. " Cold consolation for all caregivers and those in need of care, because the minister has not yet said anything concrete about how exactly this should succeed.

Part of the new care regulations were also relief for residents. Since the beginning of the year, in addition to the payments from the long-term care insurance fund, you have received a surcharge that increases with the length of your stay in the home. However, the shares to be paid have recently continued to rise and were only partially cushioned by this, as an evaluation by the Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds showed.

The background to this is that nursing care insurance – unlike health insurance – only pays part of the costs for pure nursing care. For residents of the home, there are also additional costs for accommodation, food and also for investments in the facilities.

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