Statement on Situation in Temka Nursing House

On November 11, 2022, the Public Defender of Georgia learned about the launch of the process of transferring older persons from the Tbilisi Nursing Home to other facilities. The Public Defender echoes the mentioned case, taking into account its importance.

The Public Defender has been aware of the deinstitutionalization and expected liquidation of the said institution for several years. In general, the mentioned process involves the abolition of large institutions and transfer of older persons to a family-like environment, where various services should be available to them and they should be able to adapt to the community, which, of course, we welcome. However, in this particular case, taking into account the small number of beneficiaries in the nursing house (17 beneficiaries in total) and the good living conditions provided there, it is important to maintain and not worsen the decent living conditions after the institution is closed.

In connection with this process, along with requesting official information,[1] on November 18, 2022, representatives of the Public Defender visited the Tbilisi Nursing House. As a result of interviewing the beneficiaries and representatives of the institution’s administration, the following problems have been identified:

  • The beneficiaries learned about the expected changes in August, but no one notified them of a specific date of their transfer. They were informed only in November that it was planned to transfer them from the building by December 1, as well as to cut off electricity, water and gas;
  • According to the beneficiaries, the psychologist has not worked with them individually; Interviews with social workers were conducted formally, in the presence of representatives of the institution's administration. The stress associated with the expected changes aggravated their psycho-emotional condition, which negatively affects their health;
  • According to the information available at this stage, the place where the older persons are planned to be taken is far from a settled area and there is no bus stop, shop, pharmacy or medical facility nearby. Taking into account the above, the older persons have an expectation that their living conditions will be deteriorated, which also aggravates their psycho-emotional condition.

The Public Defender calls on the Agency for State Care and Assistance for Victims of Trafficking:

  • To work individually with older beneficiaries of the Tbilisi Nursing Home and, with the involvement of relevant specialists, ensure their psycho-emotional preparation for the expected changes;
  • In the process of deinstitutionalization, the older people should be transferred to the institutions where service standards and decent living conditions will be provided and their conditions will not be deteriorated.

The Public Defender continues to monitor the process of deinstitutionalization of the mentioned institution.

[1] At this stage, the Office has not received the requested information.

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