France state

France pledges 240 million euros for home care services for elderly people in difficulty

France will spend an additional 240 million euros on home help services for the elderly in 2022, Prime Minister Jean Castex said this week, as part of plans to address serious staff shortages in the sector.

Mr. Castex made the announcement during a visit to Saône-et-Loire on Thursday 23 September.

He also indicated that he would introduce a minimum rate of 22 € per hour for professionals in the home help, support, care and service sectors; the State bearing the additional costs.

The plans appear to be part of a move to recruit more home helpers as the industry experiences a severe shortage of workers, despite increased demand and an aging population.

1.6 million people are currently cared for at home in France, with growing demand.

The prime minister said the industry needs 20% more workers to fill the gaps, but there is a serious shortage of candidates.

Dominique Langlais, director of the ADMR home help federation in the Pyrénées-Orientales region, said the low salary was not attracting candidates.

He told France Télévisions: “In the current situation, an employee (95% of our sector are women) must have 17 years of experience before being able to claim a salary higher than the minimum wage. This is far too little, especially since the working conditions are difficult, the job no longer attracts candidates.

Now the government has approved a deal from April 2021, which is expected to result in pay increases of 13-15% from October 1.

“Putting patients first is not our job”

The crisis in the home help sector, both for the elderly and for the disabled, was reportedly exacerbated by the health crisis.

In the Toulouse region (Haute-Garonne), a home help company had such difficulties recruiting staff that it was forced to cancel appointments, such as offering walking or shopping assistance. , and to favor only “life or death” visits, such as ensuring that patients take their medication, postpones France 3.

Director Bernadette Rodrigo said: “Prioritizing patients, sorting them … It’s not good, it’s not our job.”

Other workers have confirmed that the staff shortage means priority is only given to the most dependent people who need help getting up, bathing or eating.

For everything else, which can be considered as a “comfort” service, such as household help, “there may be an expectation”, explains Sandrine Lavoix, general manager of the AASE (Association action mutual aid solidarity) based in Dordogne and In interviewed by Capital.

According to the home help barometer published by the National Union of Home Help, Care and Services, UNA, between March 2019 and 2020, one in five requests could not be fully taken into account. , and one in four establishments was forced to refuse to accept a request due to a lack of staff.

In France, home help is theoretically accessible to everyone.

Financial assistance can be granted by the department, the pension fund, mutual insurance companies, the town hall or the Communal Center for Social Action (CCAS), depending on criteria such as age and other factors, such as disability. .

You can find more information on who is eligible and what care is available near you. on the government website.

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