Introduction: The size and age-structure of Europe’s population is undergoing dramatic changes due to low fertility rates, continuous increases in life expectancy and the retirement of the baby-boom generation. ‘The Strategy for care for the elderly till 2010—Solidarity, good intergenerational relations and quality ageing of the population’, prepared by Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, is the response of the Republic of Slovenia to the ageing society and to the European demands for new solidarity between the generations. The main purpose of the strategy is to create good conditions for preserving and strengthening solidarity, for good intergenerational relations and to ensure quality ageing and care for the fast growing third generation. Special attention is given to the long-term care and the implementation of the new insurance for it.
Description of care: Slovenia was 40 years ago one of the first countries with an efficient gerontological institute. The social welfare system in Slovenia today is based on the welfare system of public social insurance implemented in former Yugoslavia, which for elderly primarily developed nursing homes. Nursing homes in Slovenia are fully occupied at the moment. There are approximately 3.8% of people older than 65 live in nursing homes. The number of applications has been growing and waiting list for a bed to become available has been prolonging.
Discussion: Like in other European countries, there are also in Slovenia trends toward developing specific services for the elderly, adjusted to their needs and preferences. However, to a large share of the elderly population these services are not accessible—partly due to their small number and partly due to their high price. Furthermore, the majority of the elderly people wish to live in their current dwelling and familiar environment.
Conclusion: In developed societies the quality of life of the elderly population is coming to the forefront of research, as well as political agendas. This strategy is the only Slovenian document of this kind, in which different ministries took part in setting goals regarding ageing population. The strategy covers work of the governmental departments of work, employment, social care, health care, education, economy, traffic, science and other relevant areas and the civil society of the Third sector.
Presentation slides available from: http://www.bridgingknowledge.net/Presentations/Symp5_Dernovsek.pdf