In Thuringia, those in need of care are mainly cared for by their relatives at home. For them, this is usually a tour de force and often a balancing act between work and care. An action week in Thuringia is therefore promoting more recognition.
Erfurt (dpa/th) - Caring relatives have asked for more support and better financial security for their work. Above all, there is still a lack of relief offers, said Sigrun Fuchs, board member of the association "We care in Thuringia". Despite an increasing number of people in need of care, the number of short-term care places in the Free State has continued to decrease. If caregivers are prevented by vacation or illness, it would be difficult for them to find a place in a temporary home for those in need of care.
One reason for this is that the short-term care for the carrier does not pay off financially and in terms of effort, said Fuchs. According to the latest figures available from the State Statistical Office, there were 307 places for short-term care in Thuringia at the end of 2019. Two years earlier there were 320 places. However, the number of people in need of care has increased by 20 percent within two years, said Fuchs.
Better advice for relatives and the introduction of a wage replacement benefit similar to parental allowance are also important, said Fuchs. What is now taken for granted when raising children does not yet exist in care when relatives have to temporarily stop working. Here the federal legislature is required.
Social Minister Heike Werner (left) supports the demand for the introduction of a family care allowance and family care time. Thuringia wants to submit a specific proposal to the federal government to change the legal basis, Werner announced. "In the end, the situation of caring relatives creates a never-ending list of problems such as the compatibility of work and care, the loss of career opportunities and financial losses."
The state must ensure that this situation does not become a poverty trap for those affected, explained Werner. According to Fuchs, many have to give up their jobs at least temporarily and live in financially precarious circumstances. "It is often not possible to reconcile work and care due to a lack of support," criticized Fuchs.
There are more than 135,000 people in need of care in Thuringia. According to the association, more than 80 percent of them are cared for at home by their relatives in Thuringia. With an action week starting this Monday, the association will focus on the services of the approximately 220,000 relatives in Thuringia who care for their spouses, parents or children at home.
According to the interest group for caring relatives, more than 70 events at 29 locations are on the program nationwide until Sunday. These include information events and rounds of talks, meetings of self-help groups and specialist political discussions, but also opportunities for encounters and for short breaks. There will also be a panel discussion of the government factions on Monday in the state parliament on the challenges of home care.