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Government to consider licensing nursing homes for the elderly

The government is 'moving towards' the concept of licensing nursing homes for the elderly which would be more specialised than residential homes, Health Minister Joseph Cassar said today.

He said when speaking in Parliament that the number of elderly people was growing as was the number of 'old old' people.

The local regulations, he said, currently did not make a distinction between old people's homes and nursing homes and Malta actually only had the former. Nursing homes, he explained, were almost hospitals in that they catered for elderly people who needed medical care.

Dr Cassar said in reply to a parliamentary question that the current regulations on criteria and standards in old people's homes applied to all state-owned, private and church-run homes.

The homes have to conform to safety and food regulations, cleanliness and a good state of maintenance and they need to have the necessary facilities for the care of the elderly, including the issuing of prescribed medicines.

The environment has to be such as to afford the residents privacy, safety and comfort.

All homes must be fully accessible and they must have a doctor on call in case of emergencies at all times.

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