Platform for Active Aging: Social services are insufficient for older persons

The social services are insufficient for older persons. The services that are now available at the local level do not cover the needs of older persons and cannot efficiently respond to the vulnerably that appeared as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows a report on the social services intended for older persons in the districts of Edineț, Strășeni and Ștefan Vodă that was produced by the Platform for Active Aging.

In a news conference at IPN, Cristina Railean, secretary of the Platform for Active Aging, said the social services are developed nonuniformly. The systemic development of social services stagnates. In some of the situations, owing to the lack of financial resources, the activity of the service is limited. There is a shortage of qualified personnel. The fluctuation of staff creates impediments in the provisions of high-quality social services and this happens in all the country’s districts, not only in the three districts.

Domnica Petrovici, who heads the Public Association “People for the People” based in Edineț district, said there is a wide range of social services from which the older persons can benefit, such as community social assistance, homecare, monetary social support and personal social assistance. But these social services satisfy only a part of the needs of older persons from districts. The elderly people apply for services, but are put on the waiting list as the capacities are limited.

The head of the Public Association “People for the People” noted that the state should ensure a minimum of free guaranteed social services in accordance with the Constitution. Today, a person older than 80 who is confined to bed, for example, even if this meets the criteria for benefitting from the personal assistant service, cannot do it if the disability degree is not determined officially. The cost of such services is very high and the families cannot cover them. As many as 965 persons benefit from home care services in Edineț. In 2019, such services for money were provided for 51 persons, in 2020 – for 71 persons. In 2021, the cost of the service was reviewed up, from 250 lei to 595 lei. Consequently, 30 older persons had to give up this service.

The rehabilitation services in sanatoriums were suspended during the pandemic and the waiting lists grew longer as a result. At the end of last year, 224 persons were on waiting lists in Edineț district. Many persons didn’t ask for a ticket to sanatorium as they were refused earlier or had to wait for too long, but their state of health worsens.

The Platform for Active Aging called on the authorities to base the public agenda on the needs of the people.

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