The right to live a decent life as an old person

Partner: Fundația de Sprijin Comunitar Bacău
Beneficiaries: 200 elderly suffering from varying degrees of mobility impairment as result of poor health condition or old age-related illnesses, including old people living alone, who are in need of social support, counseling and socialization.
Location: Motoşeni and Stănişeşti villages, Bacău County
Launch year: 2015
Budget: 183,744 lei

The issue:

Sixty percent of the elderly in Romania live in rural areas and are facing serious problems, such as poverty or lack of social and medical services. It is estimated that 20% of the elderly in Romania need home care services, yet the percentage of those who actually receive this kind of support is as small as 0.23%, although home care is eleven times cheaper than other forms of residential care. In the rural area covered by this project, the situation is even worse. There are 1,750 elderly people in Motoşeni and Stănişeşti, in the county of Bacău, most of them with no relatives to look after them, and the only social services they have access to are those provided by Fundația de Sprijin Comunitar Bacău. Many of these old people live in hamlets located 8-10 km away from the village center and they have difficulties in reaching the family doctor.

Solution:

Fundația de Sprijin Comunitar Bacău has developed a project that provides care services to the lonely elderly from the two communities. Home care workers help the elderly with their general and personal hygiene, supervise their general health condition, clean up their houses, do their shopping, carry out minor house repair works and, most importantly, socialize with the elderly. Healthcare is provided by nurses from the family doctor’s office in the commune and social workers provide counseling and advocacy services. The transport of the elderly to the medical center in the commune or in the town of Bacău as well as of the family doctors to the place of residence of the beneficiaries living in hamlets is provided by a free transportation service.
Direct services are provided through a multidisciplinary healthcare and social care team, coordinated by a manager with more than 15 years experience in the field of elderly care services.

Results:

These services are significantly improving the health and social condition of the 200 elderly, beneficiaries of the project, providing them with the chance to live a decent life as old people.
For many of the beneficiaries the change has major benefits: some of them recover at home after medical interventions or illnesses that have led to their immobilization. For many lonely elderly, the members of the care teams are the only people who visit them and who often even saves their lives.