The New Favorite of Investors: Nursing Homes

Bönen, Germany – The Turkish immigration to Germany started with the signing of an agreement in 1961. The move, which had a slow pace in the beginning, increased as per arrangement between Turkey and the European Economic Community in 1963. While there were 6800 Turkish people living in Germany in 1961, with the arrival of new immigrants the number went up to over 1 million in 1975 and climbed to over 2 million in 1998.
Kemal Çak1r is one of the young entrepreneurs who is aware of the need to fill the gap in nursing sector.

Presently, the Turkish population has reached 2.7 million with continuing immigration involving arrival of families and marriages. Those who arrived in the country in 1960’s in their youth are now over the age of 70. Among the first arrivals there are now 95,000 people at the age of retirement.

With the aging of a generation, the need for organizations in different sectors that provide service to the Turkish population has been increasing. Among these the nursing homes and nursing care centers are of utmost priority.

Presently, there is no nursing home run by a Turkish administration in Germany. The only active nursing home that offers services under the name of  a “Turkish Nursing Home” is in Berlin-Kreuzberg and is run by Germans. It has 155 beds, opened in January 2007 and changed its name to Turkish Nursing Home after one year.

Kemal Çakır is one of the young entrepreneurs who is aware of the need to fill the gap in this sector. Çakır, who was born in 1971 in Germany, decided to choose the care of the elderly as a profession during the course of his practical training in a hospital in 1989.

He says that although nursing is not popular among males, he thought it was appropriate for him and decided to make it his profession.
Çakır, upon completing training in nursing in 1993, started to work in the emergency section and five years later, in 1999, opened his own nursing care center called Pflegezentrum Çakır Health  Center. The inclusion of nursing care insurance in the social system by the German government had a significant effect on Çakır’s initiative. Under the new law, the government supports the home care of patients.

There are approximately 10,000 nursing care centers in Germany. They send nurses to homes of people who need care. There are only five nursing care centers owned by Turkish people. These centers, other than Çakır’s in Bönen, near Dortmund, are in Gelsenkirchen, Essen, Hamburg and Berlin. The amounts covered by the patients’ insurance and their categories are designated as first, second and third class by the government. The patients requiring care for 45, 90, 180 minutes or longer per visit are considered to be in the first, second and third groups, respectively. The insurance of patients in these groups is charged  420, 980 and 1470 Euro per month, in that order.

The Pflegezentrum Çakır Health Center, with 33 nurses, offers services to 80 patients, 10 of whom are children and two of whom need critical care. Çakır states that in a country where 2.7 million Turkish people reside it should be possible to increase the number of nursing care centers and the investors should be interested in and supportive of this endeavor.  

No matter how contradictory to Turkish customs and traditions the idea of a nursing home is, there is an ever-growing need for them in Germany and there are no active Turkish nursing homes as of yet. Çakır states that efforts are open one for 100 patients and adds, “The Turkish community in Germany has not opened its own schools, hospitals and nursing homes and thus, has no experience in this respect. We want to initiate a project for a nursing home and set a model by bringing together people who have set their hearts on such an endeavor.”

It is also planned to extend the premises and have a section for short-term care with a 20-patient capacity. The project is expected to cost between 3-5 million. The German government provides 2012 Euro for each person being taken care of in a nursing home. Çakır completes what he has to say by pointing out that “None of us has any experience in this type of an enterprise, but we have the knowledge and capability to be able to accomplish it.”  









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