Toilet paper an ‘unneeded expense’
18 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — In a move to wipe superfluous costs from its budget, the Emmaus retirement home in the town of Boxtel has come up with a unique way of streamlining finances — it will no longer buy toilet paper for its elderly residents.
Family members were informed of the economising measure on Tuesday. In future, if they wish to keep their aging relatives’ posteriors in good order, family members will need to buy the toilet rolls themselves.
The retirement home made the decision in association with the clients’ council, news agency ANP reported. Soap, toothpaste and shampoo have already been scrapped.
One of the directors of Zorggroep Elde, which administers the home, said the cuts were necessary to ensure responsible care because the AWBZ healthcare insurance scheme for long-term illness, injury and old-age was earning less cash.
Dutch retirement homes are increasingly being confronted with funding shortages and the Emmaus home said its toilet roll measure meant that the home could continue serving three meals instead of two and that residents could go to the toilet at any time, rather than at allotted times when staff members had to be on hand.
But Bart de Greeff — whose 77-year-old mother Annie has Alzheimer’s disease and is a resident of a closed wing of the retirement home — said the cost-cutting measure was too idiotic for words.
“I fell completely off my chair from the phone call from one of the nurses,” he told newspaper De Telegraaf.
De Greeff said the nurses were very sweet and could not do anything to stop the plan, but he painted a strange situation where he would have to arrive at the Brabant retirement home with a package of toilet paper specifically for his mother.
He said his mother did not understand what was happening.
“Old people who have worked rock hard their entire life are no longer getting toilet paper. Incomprehensible. Even in jail they can still wipe their bottoms for free,” De Greeff said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news