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The Seimas Ombudsman was unpleasantly surprised by the prevailing human right violations in Kaunas District social care institutions

12 September 2016

A. NormantasAfter the second visit to Kaunas District nursing homes, advisers of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office were unpleasantly surprised by the huge number of unsolved problems, even though they had already been identified during the first visit to these nursing homes last year.

Mr. Augustinas Normantas, the Seimas Ombudsman, could not conceal his deep disappointment with the findings. "The saddest thing is that the institutions have failed to solve even those problems, which do not require additional financial resources,"‌ he said.

The Seimas Ombudsman noted that only two out of eleven care facilities, Ežerelis Social Care Home and Panemunės Elderly Care Home, had managed to solve all the issues related to human rights violations. "However, there were such institutions as elderly care homes 'Užusaliai,' 'Globasta,' or 'Auksinis Amžius,' which had solved only an insignificant number of problems established by us," noted Mr. Normantas.

Among the listed shortcomings were a non-functional emergency system, a practice of locking elderly patients in their rooms, allowing them to bathe only once every two weeks, and not disinfecting worn-out, dirty, or torn mattresses before passing them over to other residents.

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After a visit to Alytus Correction House, the Seimas Ombudsman criticised its authority

30 August 2016

 MG 7266There is not enough space for inmates in wheelchairs to move freely within the cells. The bathrooms are too narrow, and the stairs leading to a canteen and library as well as the odontologist, family doctor and psychologist are not adjusted for the use of people with disabilities. The Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas released these findings after a visit to Alytus Correction House.

Having assessed the human rights situation in Alytus Correction House, the Seimas Ombudsman Mr. A. Normantas noted that there was a noticeable shortage of wheelchairs and other movement-compensation equipment for people with disabilities. Moreover, there were no bathroom safety rails in showers to facilitate the mobility of individuals with disabilities so they could perform their hygiene procedures independently.

The employees of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office have also established that there was a lack of seats in prison yards for inmates with disabilities. Therefore, prisoners who had mobility challenges and had to move with walkers or walking sticks or crutches did not have a place to sit down and have rest.

Furthermore, Mr. A. Normantas drew attention to the fact that privacy in the hygiene facilities for inmates with disabilities was not ensured in Alytus Correction House.

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The Seimas Ombudsman: “A Lack of privacy is the most significant problem in elderly homes.”

20 July 2016

Augustinas Normantas3After visiting social care institutions in Klaipėda and Šiauliai districts, the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas came to a conclusion that a lack of privacy in elderly homes is the most significant problem.

“There are still many walking straight into residents' rooms without knocking and they are not allowed locking the doors from inside. Moreover, there is not enough private space in the residents' rooms and there are no lockers for personal belongings. Sadly, medical check-ups are undertaken in front of strangers and without using folding screens to provide temporary privacy,” the Seimas Ombudsman A. Normantas highlighted in his report.

There is limited attention paid towards promotion of healthy ageing of elderly. Self-management is not encouraged either: “Residents are not encouraged to use cutlery. Also, a focus on regaining physical ability is poor.”

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