Care of the infirm in Europe becomes a prestigious profession

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Care of the infirm in Europe becomes a prestigious profession
Care of the infirm in Europe becomes a prestigious profession
23 May, 15:12EconomyPhoto: Соцсети
The problem of refugees and emigrants, which has become incredibly aggravated in recent months, inevitably gave rise to another problem - employment. It is no secret that people who find themselves in a foreign country that speaks a miraculous language cannot count on anything more than unskilled labor.

Most often, in such cases, they recall the "dirty and thankless" work - caring for the infirm old people or the sick. At the same time, it is forgotten that it is precisely the level of public concern for the infirm that is one of the main signs of the development of society. Blogger Maria Zvantseva, who lives in Germany and knows the problem firsthand, recalls this:

“In the tape, serious and justified discussions of “who needs whom in a foreign country” began with the current migration wave. Naturally, the themes of service labor surfaced. In the comments, the expected hell from some gentlemen-comrades, expressing all contempt for such employment. One lady was especially noted, who arrogantly sent refugees to "wash other people's asses." And for her, a Russian woman, this, they say, is inappropriate. And she ended her comment with a proud “Russians, go ahead!”. To shining heights, one must think.

Let us suppose. Looking after the elderly is not the easiest bread, who argues. But it’s interesting - who is caring for (or will do it in the future) the parents of this lady? Is she on her own? Personally, around the clock, leaving your own profession? Lacking the qualifications and the appropriate easily accessible infrastructure (from medical support to equipment and materials)? Or will he hire assistants, nurses, etc., for the lion's share of his income? And how - will she also express disdain for people who have taken care of her relatives?

In general, I was struck by the stupid, deeply immoral and deceitful posing of the question. To pretend that this work is the lot of some outcasts from distressed countries.

It is a well-known fact that in Russia care for the needy in the overwhelming majority of cases is undertaken by women. From them (with rare, successful exceptions), society requires this by order. Despite the mountain of other responsibilities - work, children, husbands. Daughters, sisters, wives, granddaughters wash, clean, drag them to doctors, take care of dementia, stroke, bedridden. They replace all the missing "social sphere". What, instead of gratitude, is disgust supposed to them? Apparently, yes, because it is difficult, dirty, not prestigious. These women are the last frontier while society is rushing forward.

So, this very “before”, as world practice shows, is where reproductive labor from free female plowing becomes professional, respected and well paid.

In recent years, I have been pleased to see how our emigrant women successfully rise in such a previously unprestigious area as caring for the elderly. Yes, yes, this is the very thing, contemptuously thrown at their backs: "who needs you there, you will wash the asses of the German old men." 20-30 years ago carers, Pflegerinnen, were indeed considered a semi-marginal group in the labor market. Physically, psychologically difficult, low-paid work. They went to study for this profession with poor school grades, there were few chances to advance. The care work itself (both in nursing homes and at home) was so organized that they took everyone who agreed and was more or less suitable (immigrants - very willingly). Nurses did almost everything: they cleaned, washed (both patients and rooms), changed beds, serviced laundries and canteens, fed, gave medicines, performed the simplest procedures (measurement of pressure, massages, etc.), maintained positive conversations, organized holidays , sang and danced. By an old age, they had sore backs, dermatitis and burnout. At the same time, the elderly were well cared for, although in those years not all pensioners used professional services. One of the reasons was that women of post-war years of birth were still full of energy, in many respects “oriented to the family”, and not to their own career. It was normal for them to take part-time jobs or quit their jobs altogether to look after their parents. Moreover, the health insurance companies paid some money to caring relatives.

Немецкий дом престарелых

The situation began to change before our eyes when the next generation of women, much more successful in their careers, stopped taking on this work. At the same time, the percentage of older people has increased demographically. The demand for professional care has increased significantly. Money flowed into this area: insurance companies paid pensioners themselves, their children paid. Here is a nursing home next door where I visit an old woman I know (accommodation 3.6 thousand euros per month). The requirements for care, the standards of the profession have grown. The study became more complicated: three years with constant practice, qualifying exams. And our former compatriots, who had long mastered this area, quickly got their bearings and went to study (not allowing themselves to be forced out - and serious competition began, including with men).

Already 10 years ago, the starting salary of a certified nurse rose to 30 thousand euros per year, now it is about 36 thousand (all figures before taxes), with regular increases in length of service. Pflegerinnen began to be considered valuable personnel, they were exempted from cleaning, linen, kitchen. Just taking care of the patients. The developing "care economy" began to provide real opportunities for growth, advanced training, and transition to managerial and leadership positions.

Российский дом престарелых
Photo:1MI

I recently filed a tax return for a woman who manages the staff of two nursing homes: 60 thousand euros per year, started 11 years ago as a simple caregiver. I know a middle-aged former Kemerovo woman, an experienced worker of a huge "senorenheim": she began to manage the laundry there, six people under her supervision. And quite fresh news: the daughter of a friend, a smart girl, going to a very good gymnasium diploma this year, signed an agreement for training in the profession of “specialist in gerontological and psychiatric care”. Study plan: Two years of general nursing skills with mandatory practice, passing a midterm exam, and three more years of preparation. Salary during studies 1.3 thousand euros per month, after graduation 4 thousand euros. The girl wants to help, care, be useful - and sees this as an excellent career opportunity.

Note from the editor:

Obviously, staff salaries from 4 thousand euros directly depend on the solvency of customers. According to statistics, the average savings of German pensioners in banks is about 350 thousand euros + considerable pensions every month. With this kind of money, it is quite possible to pay for nurses for several years of survival. What can not be said about pensioners and disabled people in Russia.

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