At the end of 2018 there were 6,344 beds in Cipa and LE homes of the elderly in Luxembourg
Care homes in Luxembourg are charging up to €5,000 per month for a room, prompting calls by Luxembourg’s workers’ rights watchdog for a major overhaul of the system.
In its report on retirement home costs, published on Monday, the Chambre des Salariés called for the creation of a coordination agency to centralise information on elderly care facilities. It also wants the government to find a way to reduce what it says are overly high costs of care homes and create a charter to ensure minimum care requirements for the elderly are met.
There are currently three types of senior housing options for the elderly in Luxembourg: integrated centres (Cipa) offering daily assistance and care, care homes (MS) offering 12 hours of specialised care per week, and assisted living communities (LE).
Comparing costs, the report found that monthly rents for one person to rent a single room averaged at €2,452 in a Cipa, €2,706 for a MS and €1,718 for an LE room.
“These are average rates, some institutions can ask more than €4,000, even more than €5,000 per month for a single room.”
While the report author concluded it was difficult to make a like-for-like comparison, it stressed that people on low pensions are not keeping in sync with the rates being charged.
Three quarters of women received a pension below the average rents being asked at pay a Cipa home, and 79% of women would be priced out of using a MS, because of their low pension incomes. Increasingly, women in this bracket will opt for LE accommodation, the report said. But, even here, the incomes of a fifth of women would not cover the average rents there.
Cost constraints are driving more people towards the cheaper LE or assisted living communities, yet this is where the least beds are found. Of the 7,087 beds available in 2019, 775 were in LE, 2,387 in MS and 3,925 in Cipa centres, the report found. Over the past five years, the number of beds in LE accommodation increased by 72% with an additional 326 beds being added. But the employee chamber was sceptical about why this was the case.
“The CSL wonders if assisted living accommodation is not just a niche to make money without having to provide extra care on the pretext that tenants are autonomous,” the report author concluded. The report found that there was sufficient capacity in Cipa and MS accommodation to meet current demand from senior citizens.
In future, this may not be the case. A 2013 report from the Consultative Commission of Human Rights forecast that in 2050, the number of people living in residential care and nursing homes would increase by 15,000-20,000, equivalent to up to four times the number currently living in this type of accommodation.