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‘Home-visit bathing’ care service suspended in Kanazawa during pandemic, leaving elderly and disabled unable to wash

At least three establishments in Kanazawa City are unable to accept new applications for the "home-visit bathing" care service. The reason behind this is that there is a shortage of staff, and there have been cases where ALS patients who have been refused access to the service have been unable to take a bath for a long period of time.

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK

April 25 2021

KANAZAWA – At least three establishments in Kanazawa City are unable to accept new applications for the “home-visit bathing” care service, which provides support for bathing at home by professional staff, or have to limit the service to people in areas that are easy to visit.

The reason behind this is that there is a shortage of staff, and there have been cases where ALS patients who have been refused access to the service have been unable to take a bath for a long period of time, so securing staff has become a serious issue.

The “home-visit bathing” service is a nursing care service in which three or more professional staff members, including nurses, visit the homes of patients and help them take a bath using a special portable bathtub. The service is indispensable for bedridden elderly people and people with severe disabilities who find it difficult to take a bath with regular home-visit nursing care.

However, in Kanazawa City, three establishments in the city have either been unable to accept new applications or have been forced to limit the service to people in areas where it is easy for staff to visit.

According to the establishments, staff have been resigning one after another as they have been providing services on a shoestring due to limited income from the nursing care insurance system.

In addition, since the spread of the new corona infection, the number of people who want to use home services to avoid treatment and care in hospitals and facilities has increased, which has led to a tightening of the system.

In the city, there have been cases of ALS patients who have been denied access to the service and have been unable to bathe for up to four weeks.

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