Carnival Theme For 2010 Set ; Nursing Home Shortages ; ‘Paint & Tiles’ Scheme Underway

(28th September). ‘800 Elderly On Waiting List – 1,300 beds that exist on Madeira in nursing homes are fully occupied, and the 400 that are coming will only provide for half of those on the waiting list’. Nearly three thousand elderly people on Madeira receive the Complemento Solidário (CSI), or Solidarity Supplement, that works out at around €200 a month, and was introduced in 2006. Back in 2006 just 499 were receiving it, so in just a few years there are nearly 6 times as many. The benefit is payable to those on low incomes, and of those in receipt they are generally without children to support them, or if there are children an adjustment is made. Those who stay at home without family support are able to ‘hire’ one of Madeira’s 72 ‘care givers’ provided through Social Security. The scheme is supposed to supplement the availability of nursing home places, where the number of beds fall well below the number actually needed, with just 1,300 provided in public and private nursing homes. The need for more homes has long been recognized by the government and by public and private institutions of Madeira. That is why a program of the Regional Government has planned to open seven new homes for the elderly in several districts on Madeira. Some are already under construction, whilst others are out to tender, but even when all are operational, only 400 extra beds will be created. The situation can only get worse with the gradual aging of the population here. Also available to the elderly, and also the sick and disabled, are the Social Security Assistants, who currently help in around three thousand situations, on a weekly basis, or more frequently if needed. These assistants offer help with such tasks as personal hygiene, home cleaning, laundry, and the supply and preparation of meals.

Today’s football headline . ‘Maritimistas In Time Of Reflection’. After 6 games and just one win and 5 points, those in and associated with Marítimo football club are deep in thought about what happens next. No doubt there is plenty of time to recover and improve, but will the recovery be led by coach Carlos Carvalhal, who is becoming increasingly isolated as a result of the clubs poor form?

The last of today’s front page stories : ‘Santa Cruz Gives Paint And Roof Tiles’. 320 families assisted by the programme ‘Tintas & Telhas’, developed by Santa Cruz, it is the biggest project of its type on Madeira. This was already covered in the last week or so, but the said families are to have their homes improved in a scheme that provides the materials for free, with the families taking on the work themselves to improve and repair their properties. The ‘contracts’ for around a hundred families in the parish of Santa Cruz have already been signed with the project partners, and over 200 more homes outside of that parish are due to be enrolled soon. The bulk of the €1.2 million comes from community funding, with Santa Cruz council contributing €250,000. Once in receipt of the building materials, the families have a period of 90 days to complete the repairs and improvement, using resources they contribute or pay for themselves. I really can’t imagine how they are going to monitor and enforce this. What’s to stop someone selling on the materials and pocketing the cash. I would imagine that some such stories will start to emerge early next year.

 

‘Silver Anniversary’. The Madeira Cement company celebrated 25 years of existence this year, and is marking the occasion with new investments in quality certification.

 

The Diário today has quite a few ‘stock’ stories like this today as well as a few ‘repeats’, presumably held back to fill some space, whilst all journalistic efforts were directed at yesterday’s elections.

 

 

 

‘Seas And Oceans’ In The Carnival Parade For 2010 – The theme of the parade has already been set by the regional secretary for tourism’. The news has been sent out to the usual participating groups in the carnival parades, in order that they can think about their roles and presentations in the parade, and submit a proposal for consideration before the end of this year. The dates have been set according to the official tourism website (www.madeiraislands.travel), with the main event / parade on 13th February, and the ‘Cortejo Trapalhão’ free-for-all in Funchal on the 16th February.

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