Record Number of Elderly and Disabled Care Homes Closing in Iran, Health Expert Says

A large number of care homes in Iran for senior citizens and the disabled are facing severe economic challenges and will most likely close by next year, according to Saeed Sadabadi, the managing director of the Association of Non-Governmental Centers for the Rehabilitation of Physically Disabled People, which operates under the auspices of the State Welfare Organization of Iran.

“While the cost of care for the disabled and senior citizens has doubled since 2017, subsidies for these homes have remained the same in the past two years,” Mr. Sadabadi said. “There are 2,300 rehabilitation centers for people with physical disabilities in Iran.”

“There are 120,000 senior citizens and people with physical and severe mental disabilities living in these nursing and care homes, 15,000 of whom have no next of kin. There are also 25,000 healthcare professionals including full-time carers working at these places. Some of these are private care homes and others are subsidized by the government. The state-funded homes spend most of their budget on food and clothing for the residents. The cost of operating these homes and centers has increased significantly in the past year.”

Sadabadi explained: “It cost around $333 a month to care for a senior citizen or a physically disabled person in 2017. That figure has nearly doubled this year. However, we never receive the allocated funds in time, and instead of the promised $182 a month, they deposit only $152 in our accounts. Nearly 950 homes receive even less. The subsidy for residential care homes is about $190 a month which is not paid directly to rehabilitation centers.”

“We call on the Planning and Budget office to meet its legal obligations and pay us the full subsidies needed to run these homes,” Sadabadi said.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]