Andreas westerfellhaus in interview: ‘family caregivers are being criminally neglected’

Andreas westerfellhaus in interview: 'family caregivers are being criminally neglected'

In Germany, there are about five million dementia patients and family caregivers who look after them. But often these relatives are overburdened and feel left alone. In an interview with the “Gesundheit und Pflege” website Andreas Westerfellhaus, the German government’s commissioner for long-term care, talks about the situation and how it can be improved.

Westerfellhaus stresses that family caregivers are criminally neglected and urgent action is needed to improve their situation. They play an enormous part in the care of dementia patients and do invaluable work.

The interview also addresses the question of what measures can be taken by policymakers to improve the situation of family caregivers. Here, Westerfellhaus argues above all for better financial support and better organization of consulting and support services.

The situation of family caregivers is an important issue that urgently needs more attention. This is the only way to improve the situation. The interview with Andreas Westerfellhaus provides insights into the current situation and shows what steps are necessary to improve the situation of family caregivers.

Who is Andreas Westerfellhaus?

Andreas Westerfellhaus is a German graduate in nursing and has been the German government’s care representative since 2018. Previously, he worked for many years as a nurse and director of various care facilities. In his current position, he advocates for better care policies and increased recognition and support for caregivers and caregiving relatives.

Recently, Andreas Westerfellhaus gave an interview in which he spoke about the situation of family caregivers in Germany. He emphasized that these are often criminally neglected and are under enormous pressure. Many do not have sufficient support and have to neglect their jobs or private lives to care for their family members in need of care.

Westerfellhaus therefore calls for better financial support for family caregivers as well as sufficient relief offers so that they can better manage their tasks. He also stressed that society as a whole must be sensitized to the issue so that caregiving relatives are no longer left alone and receive appropriate support.

Andreas Westerfellhaus in an interview: Care at home and the neglect of caring relatives

Caring for the elderly at home is often a major challenge. People in need of care require not only physical but also emotional support.

Mr. Westerfellhaus, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, talks in an interview about the problems that arise when caring for relatives at home. “We must not forget that the issue is not just about people in need of care. Often it is also the relatives who are criminally neglected.” Westerfellhaus emphasizes the need for better support for caregiving relatives.

Andreas westerfellhaus in interview: 'family caregivers are being criminally neglected'

There are many measures that can be taken to relieve the burden on family caregivers. One option is to set up day care facilities where people in need of care are looked after during the day. Temporary inpatient placement in a nursing home can also give relatives time to recover.

  • Another important measure is financial support. Family caregivers can apply for a lump-sum care allowance.
  • There is also the possibility of applying for a care degree. Relatives can then claim care benefits in kind to reduce the amount of care they have to provide.
  • Another option is the use of a nursing service. An outpatient care service not only supports the person in need of care, but also the relatives.

Westerfellhaus emphasizes that it is important not to forget family caregivers: “They need support to be able to cope with their tasks.” Targeted measures can make it easier to provide care at home and relieve the burden on family caregivers.

Family caregivers: A neglected topic

Family caregivers are a mainstay of the German care system. They take care of their family members who are sick or in need of care, often doing a tremendous amount of work in the process. Yet they are often criminally neglected and their burdens and needs go unnoticed.

This neglect has many reasons. Often the reason is that the work of family caregivers is not visible enough. They do their work in private and are therefore not in the public eye. In addition, there is often a lack of the necessary financial resources and support services to reduce the workload of family members.

That’s why Andreas Westerfellhaus, the German government’s authorized representative for care, is calling for greater support for family caregivers. Stresses the need to recognize and support not only professional care, but also the work of family members. This also includes financial relief for families and the creation of time freed up for family members.

  • Support for family caregivers
  • Financial relief
  • Creation of free spaces
Andreas westerfellhaus in interview: 'family caregivers are being criminally neglected'

Possible solutions for caring for relatives

In an interview with Andreas Westerfellhaus, it becomes clear that family caregivers in Germany are often neglected. To counteract this problem, there are some possible solutions.

  • More support from the state: One possibility would be for the state to provide more financial support and aids to make caring for relatives easier.
  • More support from employers: employers can offer their employees flexible working hours and/or home office options so that they can meet their caregiving responsibilities.

Another approach would be to improve the organization of care communities, where caregiving relatives can exchange experiences and support each other.

However, such solutions must also be financed, which in turn will also lead to political discussions.

More support from the state – Financial relief for family members
– Provision of aids
– Improving the quality of care
– High costs for the state
– Political discussions about financing
More support from employers – Flexible working hours and home office options can make caregiving and work compatible
– Less loss of wages due to caregiver leave
– Possible resentment of non-affected employees
– Potential cost-benefit factor for employers
– Not every employer can or wants to make this possible
Better organization of care communities – Family caregivers are given the opportunity to share experiences and support each other – Building communities of care is time-consuming and costly
– Not every place has such a community


Andreas Westerfellhaus brings up an important issue in his interview: the neglect of family caregivers. They are often left alone in their care by their own family members and do not receive the support and appreciation they deserve.

It’s time for society, as well as care facilities, to rethink this and focus on family caregivers. Better support and relief would not only benefit family members, but also those in need of care.

There is a need to restructure our care system to focus on those in need of care and their family members. This is the only way to ensure dignified and appropriate care.

It’s up to all of us to raise awareness about the challenges of caregiving and the unique situation of family caregivers. This is the only way to improve the situation.

We can all contribute by becoming informed and engaged, and by working to ensure that caregivers continue to receive dignified and appropriate care in the future.

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