Letter about human rights violations in the Czech Republic in the so-called “Homes for the Elderly
This letter is based on my personal experiences and findings in the so-called “Home for the Elderly” in Hermanuv Mestec, which is under the direction of the Prague Municipality.
People are placed in these “homes” without knowing what type of institution they are going to. There is no consideration of their age, health condition or their individual needs, which would allow them to continue living, wherever possible, a full life. The leadership of these Homes replaces this with paperwork, in the form of the so-called “individual plans for the clients”. By being placed in the Home for the Elderly, the person – client is deprived of their human rights.
In the Home, whether in their own room or in the common areas, the mentally healthy client is often exposed to aggressive behaviour by other clients with mental health problems. Some of them are often under the influence of alcohol, even though they are prescribed various medications.
Any complaints about the services or the overall situation in the Home are dismissed by the leadership of the Home. Well founded criticism of the employees is seen as a personal attack.
Clients who complain are offered drugs to calm them down, are threatened with going to a psychiatrist, eviction or are outright placed in a psychiatric institution. Possible witnesses are “influenced” by staff members of the Home’s social department in order to change their statement.
In case of a suicide of a new client, who hasn’t received enough support in the process of “group integration and using spare time”, the leadership of the Home is trying to evade any responsibility by using fabricated notes about the client’s behaviour, blaming the suicide on the client and their previous family situation.
The leadership is evading responsibility also when it comes to other “unusual deaths”, even though a more detailed and objective investigation would show that even in such cases the Home leadership bears a part of the blame.
The Director of such Home for the Elderly, who practically cannot be fired, is therefore the master of life and destiny of possibly hundreds of individuals, including the staff, whose favour he is trying to gain by, among other, distributing donations, given by donors in good faith that they will be received only by the clients, especially those most needy.
Judging by the reactions of the trustees of these Homes, in this case the Prague Municipality, such treatment of individuals – clients falls under the Quality Care Standards in this type of “institutions”.
The leadership of the Home for the Elderly is aware how difficult it is to prove these facts in such institutions and human rights violations, as well as other unacceptable behaviour, which isn’t accepted in a civilised and just society, is commonly experienced in the Czech Republic by regular people, especially those with disabilities. There is no interest or pressure among our public and political representatives to prevent such things from happening.
This letter was sent to ENIL by Alojz Janiga and reprinted with his permission.
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