Most of the country’s private retirement homes operate illegally, with more than 150 such institutions housing elderly citizens without being subject to any form of checks by authorities, a senior industry source said yesterday. Nikitas Kalfopoulos, General Secretary of the Panhellenic Association of Retirement Homes, said the illegal homes are often preferred by families as they offer residents cheaper care. «These businesses operate without any licenses, with limited staff that is not provided with any social insurance and offer residents unacceptable conditions,» he said. His comments follow news on Wednesday from a sample survey that found retirement homes operate illegally and that a number of them house their residents in cockroach-infested rooms and serve them food unfit for consumption. Sources at the Health Ministry said yesterday the government is planning on submitting a bill to Parliament in the fall that will better protect the rights of elderly residents at such institutions.