Caritas Alba Iulia – Harghita Association (SenioriNET member) contributed to the elaboration of the Study to assess the need for long-term care of the Romanian population
Caritas Alba Iulia Association from Harghita county takes care of 2330 people and has 528 on the waiting list, which means a total of 2858 people in need representing 5.1 % of those over 65 years.
The long-term home care services represent the range of integrated medical and social services & facilities for the continuous care of a person with an advanced degree of dependency, for more than 60 days and which are provided at the beneficiary’s place.
The demographic trends of the elderly population show that Romania is facing one of the more aggressive increases of the elderly population in Europe.
When it comes to Harghita county, Caritas Alba Iulia Association provides long-term care services in all the cities and commmunes. This aspect allowed access to statistical data on the number of people cared for, the number of people evaluated and on the waiting list – a county-wide census was conducted.
The Raport has a lot of useful information including the demographic situation, the dependency ratio ans the estimated number of dependent cases in 2020.
Here are some of the conclusions of the Study:
- Romania is among the European countries most affected by the demographic trend of the aging process.
- Each country has chosen a strategy for the development of long-term care services to meet the growing needs of the elderly. Most European countries started this process in the 1990s and along the way they improved the funding mechanisms, evaluation criteria, they integrated medical and social services and networks.
- Altough the Evaluation Grid of the dependent elderly people has been adopted since 2000 and altough the local public authorities have a legal obligation to provide social services to vulnerable people, the application of the grid and a proactive identification of dependent people in the community it is not yet a common practice so that the number of cases in need is much undersized.
- The only county where the authorities had the support of NGOs and where elderly people were systematically identified is Harghita county.
- The estimation done by combining the literature data with the information obtained from the pilot project in Harghita shows that, among people over 65, about 6% need home care services.
- Access to specialized medical services or hospitalization is hampered by two problems that come together: poverty of the patients and their families and the low coverage of medical services, especially in rural areas.
Full study can be read here.