Family members have to help out in nursing home

Elderly home receive funds to tackle loneliness
Photo Credit:, Georg Arthur Pflueger

It has never been as busy in the care sector as in the past year. This is what nurse Will Sonnemans (55) from Veldhoven says. There is enormous pressure on work. Will is therefore pleased that healthcare institution Oktober is sounding the alarm and asking family and pensioners to come and help.

Family members can help in many ways, like making a cup of coffee, helping with breakfast, or just having a chat. Will is working in this sector since he was eighteen, with great passion and pleasure. But it has never been so busy.

He himself has just been on vacation. But the workload is enormous and they are short of hands at the Merefelt care home in Veldhoven. Will works there.

Permanent shortage
“It is no longer possible to fill the staff rosters for September and October,” says Jessica Vogels. She is one of the members of the board of directors of the care facility Oktober. “That’s why we’re calling on family, friends, former employees, and retirees to come help.”
Jessica expects that this will not remain a one-time call, but that help from outside will be structurally needed in healthcare. “We expect a permanent shortage of personnel in the coming years, to provide this care.”

Much enthusiasm
Oktober has received many positive responses, says Jessica: “There is a lot of enthusiasm, people happily help each other in Brabant.” Oktober hopes that trained nurses will also respond to come and help out. Taking a walk with the elderly, or making a cup of coffee, that can then be left to the family.

Will talks passionately about care. Small things, such as chatting with an elderly person, can make all the difference, he says.

Rusty image
Will thinks that working in the care sector has a rusty image: “People think that I wash the buttocks of elderly people all day, but it really is so much more.” But the huge bureaucracy,  annoys him.
Will is glad that care institution Oktober is calling to come and help: “That gives a sense of togetherness, together we are going to solve this problem.”


Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.

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