The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the occupancy of nursing homes in Wallonia and Brussels, according to a study by the Mutualités libres relayed by the newspaper Le Soir on Monday.
The number of residents in Wallonia and Brussels fell by 6.5% between 2019 and 2020, the newspaper reported.
The marked excess mortality linked to the Covid-19 waves is one of the causes, but there were also far fewer new residents in 2020 than in 2019.
Older people seem more likely to wait until they are in a state of dependency before entering a nursing home.
The decline in the number of residents has been a constant since the beginning of the crisis (in June 2020, one bed in ten was no longer occupied in the sector) and although it is easing somewhat, the downward trend seems to be persisting over time, according to Le Soir’s analysis.