Presentation of the research study “Access to long-term care services in Albania”
As part of the project “Strengthening resilience of older persons and persons with disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis and future disasters” funded by the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency, on May 18, 2023, the study “Access to long-term care services in Albania” was presented to the public.
The press conference was held in the premises of the Albanian Red Cross, and the presentation was attended by partners and representatives of the Albanian National Television, representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and representatives of the Association of Pensioners of Albania. The keynote speakers at this meeting agreed that closer cooperation between the healthcare system and the social protection system is necessary in order to provide older persons and persons with disabilities with the best possible support and care.
The results of the research in Albania show that 31.6% of people aged 65 and over have a need for long-term care due to difficulties in functioning, while among people with disabilities aged 18-64, as many as 98% of those who need long-term care services need it due to great difficulties in performing daily life activities. The study showed that in Albania, on the one hand, there is not a sufficient number of nursing homes for older persons, and on the other hand, they are expensive for older persons and their families. Additionally there is no foster care for older persons in Albania. Based on these results, an advocacy plan will be created to improve some of the services. This study was done according to the same methodology for the entire region, and should be the basis for formulating recommendations on how to increase the capacity of service providers and civil society organizations, to improve public policies, and to increase financial contributions.
Nataša Todorović from the Red Cross of Serbia, project coordinator, spoke about the achieved results of the project in the Western Balkans, which, in addition to research, contains four other components: humanitarian aid, psychosocial support and healthy aging, 62 microgrants and advocacy for long-term care services. She also spoke about concrete achievements in Albania.
After the conference, a workshop was organized for partners, which involved writing an advocacy plan based on the research results.
During their visit to Albania, representatives of the Red Cross of Serbia visited the Red Cross of Durrës and attended a workshop on healthy aging. The secretary of the Red Cross of Durrës believes that such projects are very important for older persons, because older persons in Albania have very few opportunities to get together and have structured activities. As part of this component of the project, over 30 older persons regularly attend healthy aging activities. On the same day, the monitoring visit also included a visit to the organization “Se Bashku” from Tirana. It is a civil society organization and one of 10 organizations in Albania that received a microgrant for a microproject dealing with the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the rights of older persons. At the beginning of January, as part of the project, this organization created a manual that it uses to advocate for the accessibility of institutions, sidewalks, and transportation for persons with disabilities. The manual was created in collaboration with an architect to facilitate architectural solutions in the city of Tirana.
On the third day of the visit, representatives of the Red Cross of Serbia, Nataša Todorović and Dr. Milutin Vračević, were received by the General Secretary of the Red Cross of Albania, Artur Katuci. The meeting discussed the achieved results of the project and its importance for the National Red Cross Societies in the region. The need for further projects aimed at improving the position of older persons in the region was also highlighted.
The project “Strengthening resilience of older persons and persons with disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis and future disasters” is coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia, and the partners in Albania are the Albanian Red Cross and the Albanian Association of Gerontologists and Geriatricians.