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Protection of the elderly

Coronavirus disease COVID-19

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Slovenia is facing many challenges due to the ageing of its population. We strive to ensure the conditions for quality ageing, good health and social care of the elderly, and better solidarity and quality of coexistence between all generations.

The elderly generally need more healthcare, they often face social exclusion and they are threatened by a high at-risk-of-poverty rate. The Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme 2013–2020 devotes considerable attention to the elderly. We are striving to upgrade and improve the existing social assistance systems and envisaging the development of innovative measures, as well as the enlargement of the network of programmes for the elderly threatened by social exclusion or in need of support and assistance in daily activities, including assistance and support programmes for persons with dementia and their relatives and intergenerational centres.

Strengthening community forms of social assistance

Homes for the elderly, specialised social institutions, occupational activity centres, training institutions and private providers with concessions provide institutional care to elderly persons who are unable to care for themselves. The future endeavours in this respect will focus on modernisation, especially the provision of services in smaller units in accordance with contemporary concepts (e.g. treatment in group homes and housing units) and the development of departments for categories of the elderly with special needs (persons with dementia, persons with head injuries, persons with various types of disabilities). Our aim is to use appropriate support and assistance to enable as many elderly people as possible to stay in their home environment; to this end we intend to considerably strengthen the community forms of social assistance. One of these is help at home intended for beneficiaries who have living and other conditions provided in their environment but cannot look after and care for themselves due to old age or severe disability and whose family members cannot provide such care.

Dementia management

A particularly pressing problem of an ageing society is the high share of patients suffering from dementia. The fastest growing age group is of people aged over 80, of whom some 30–45% develop dementia. Therefore adjusting the social assistance services offered to persons suffering from dementia and educating the service providers are among our priorities. In accordance with the new national programme for social assistance, we are mainly focusing on a faster enlargement of social assistance services in the home environment and on the development of new services adjusted to persons suffering from dementia and their relatives. Counselling offices and information desks, self-help groups and other forms of assistance are also an important part of services for the elderly in their home environment. 

In May 2016, the National Dementia Strategy for 2020 was adopted, addressing numerous stakeholders important for the realisation of its objectives.

Inspection

The tasks imposed on the social assistance service providers by the rules in force are overseen by the Social Affairs Inspection Service at the Labour Inspectorate. 

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