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NHRC calls for mandatory human rights training for nursing home workers

Graphic: Close up of elderly woman's hands in lap

Commission says human rights training for nursing home workers is urgent and requires special attention.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has called for the mandatory training of nursing home workers to prevent human rights abuses of elderly residents, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Commission said in a statement it had advised the Health Minister to develop guidelines for human rights training for the 40,000 care workers in the country.

The Commission also requested this training be required for certification of the 1,560 nursing homes nationwide.

"Caregivers at nursing homes are not included in the official nursing and long-term care system and therefore have no legal basis for job training," the Commission said.

"While it may not be easy to instantly provide human rights training to all health care workers, it is urgent to introduce mandatory human rights training at nursing homes."

A 2018 survey conducted by the Commission found multiple cases of human rights abuses within nursing homes.

These abuses including excessive use of physical restraint, poor care against bedsores, lack of respect for a patient's right to decide whether to enter or leave a nursing home, as well as the right to know of patients and their guardians.

The Commission said cases have continued despite advising the Health Ministry in 2016 to establish preventive measures.

Elderly residents account for 80 percent of all people residing within nursing homes, with most of them for six months or more, according to the Commission.

"Nursing home workers provide care without distinguishing between elderly and non-elderly patients, so they are not fully aware of the human rights issues that may arise among the elderly. This requires special attention," the Commission said.

Date: 10 November 2020

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Image credits

  1. Close up of elderly woman's hands in lap - Cristian Newman on Unsplash