City denies splitting up elderly couples
The municipality of Wageningen has refuted the claim that elderly couples are split up in the high rising case about the reputed illegal occupation of nursing home Dennenrust.
A municipality spokesperson told NU.nl that there was some confusion, but that no couples are going to be split apart. "On Monday, we as a municipality were told of the fact that the law states that people are only allowed to live in a care home if it has been determined that they can no longer care for themselves. With this knowledge, a commission meeting took place, and this came to the standpoint that in any case no people will be split apart."
The future of Dennenrust will have to be decided upon in a court case. "The municipality will, in case it is justified, apply measures with couples where one of them does have residence and the other doesn't."
The municipality wants 32 of the 68 residents of the home to leave, because their residence does not fit in the zoning plan. "According to our latest figures, it concerns one couple whose child is handicapped. These people will certainly not be split apart."
The foundation Jah-Jireh Woonzorg bought the home last year for elderly Jehovah's Witnesses. The idea was that these residents would take care of each other as much as possible. According to the zoning plan, however, residents of Dennenrust must be entirely dependent on care.
The municipality is now saying that some of the residents are 'too healthy' to live in the home. This is against the law, PvdA-mayor Geert van Rumund said Monday. Senior-interests group ANBO as well as local politicians criticize the mayor's bureaucracy.
Van Rumund denies that rules are more important for the municipality than people. "The Netherlands has laws and rules to attend to and protect everyone's interests. That this leads to harrowing situations in individual cases is unavoidable", the mayor says on the website.
"Care became too expensive in the Netherlands, so admission requirements for care- and nursing homes were fine tuned. The limited places that there are, have to be available for those who really need it. Also in Wageningen."