The position of older persons in the region
As part of the celebration of October 1 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the expert associate of the Red Cross of Serbia, Natasa Todorovic, participated via a video link in the First International Conference on the Position and Care for Older Persons "Celebrating Life". The conference was organized by Hilfswerk and Hilfswerk Support House and the NGO Hajde in Sarajevo on September 30, 2021. Natasa Todorovic spoke about the situation with long-term care in the Western Balkans region and the steps being taken within the COVID-19 Resilience project. She pointed out that having in mind that the need for long-term care services in the later stages of life is increasing due to the gradual deterioration of the health condition, it can be predicted that the need for these services will increase sharply in the future.
One of the challenges is that long-term care services for older persons in the region are fragmented and scattered between the social protection, healthcare and pension insurance systems. Another challenge is the capacity of existing formal services, but also the so-called spider web of the system - the user has to go to several different institutions for services intended for older persons. Due to insufficient access to formal services, older persons and their families suffer a significant financial burden because they seek services in the informal labour market where the providers of these services are completely unregulated, have no formal training and charge market prices. This affects the financial security of older persons who need such services. As part of the COVID 19-Resiliance project, which is being implemented with the support of the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency, research on the availability of long-term care services has been completed and advocacy for the development of these services in the region is now underway.