While hundreds of Romanian caregivers go to Austria to care for the elderly, our grandparents are cared for by Nepalese. The nursing home in Calarasi employs 23 carers from Nepal.
Some of them came in July 2019, others at the beginning of this year. The coronavirus crisis has hit them in the country. They came on a double salary. And as they have their meals and accommodation provided, they manage to put money aside.
We are in Nuci, Calarasi County, 30 kilometers from Bucharest. 150 grandparents live in the old people’s home here.
Mariana Melinger, Elderly Center owner: Many of them don’t even know what coronavirus means, what pandemic means. They still watch TV, but they are practically unaffected. Same life as they had two months ago.
After the virus reached Romania, the center closed. Visits were banned. So are the employees’ outings. It wasn’t hard, because most carers are Nepalese.
Mariana Melinger, owner of the Center for the Elderly: Employees who only left home after two months. When they returned, they were quarantined and tested. Until the result, they were imprisoned. We are in no danger.
Babu is one of the 23 Nepalese who came to work at Nuci. The standard of living in his native country forced him to emigrate.
Khatri Babu, Nepalese caretaker: You can find work in Nepal, but the salary is quite low. You can’t save. It’s different here. We send 50 percent to the family, we save 50 percent. I’ve been here for 15 months. At first it was difficult, because it was something new and I had problems understanding the Romanian language.
He has worked in nine countries, but here he feels best.
Khatri Babu, Nepali caretaker: Speaks Romanian, then English. After eating, we do sports. At 11 o’clock at the snack, after the bath, we take a bath. At 15:00 again at the table. Then we give them something to do, to keep them busy. At 17:00 we give them a snack, at 19:00 dinner. And then we take them to the room, dress them in pajamas.
Dada also left her family in Nepal for a double salary.
I ask Dada Sing, a Nepali caretaker: Of course I miss my family. Our contract is for two years. I have a family, a little girl.
Mariana Melinger, owner of the Center for the Elderly: I started with four, six, eight, after 16. I kept multiplying them because I saw that they were fine. The labor market has thawed, so Romanian employers are looking for foreign workers again.
Anne Marie Stavri, recruitment specialist: Asian workers are much more conscientious. We are talking about cheaper labor. Asian workers come for $ 400, $ 500, $ 600. They are willing to work overtime.
30,000 foreign workers would come to Romania this year.