First impressions of Moldovan elderly care

During the second week of MFS I’ve had the great privilege of meeting the managers of elderly care in the central district of Moldovas capital, Chisinau. In a brief summary of what we’ve talked about, one may conclude a couple of crucial matters. Here are some of the highlights:
1 Moldovan elderly care mainly covers the need of people who don’t have a family, or whose families are unable of caring for them when they reach their old age. By law, family is obliged to care for their kin, and the assessment authority – the Directia Generala Asistenta Sociala si Sanatate, the administration for social assistance and health care – will duly investigate an applicant’s possibility to obtain help from their children or spouse. Hence, in this district, numbering about 100 000 inhabitants, a mere 300 are beneficiaries from elderly care, meaning 0,3% of the population receive elderly care. In Sweden, this figure is about ten times higher.
2 Once the assessment process has considered the applicant’s right to receive social help, a formal decision stating the amount of help admitted is issued. This amount may range from one to several hours a couple of days per week, and the help is delivered by a social worker which, as a general rule, will be the same person from day to day. In other words, a beneficiary of Moldovan elderly care will normally have to get aquainted with just one single person from the care provider. A Swedish home care receiver sees on average 15 different people per week.
3 The contents of the home care is decided upon by the care receiver and their social worker for each day. In this aspect, Moldovan elderly care differs widely from the Swedish one, where care provision is formulated in a set of interventions, scheduled in a detailed plan for each home care staff’s visit. Flexibility is minimal in Swedish home care, and appears to be rather wide in Moldova.
4 Public elderly care in Moldova takes place in the beneficiarie’s home. There are no publicly funded asylums, residential care homes or other units of that kind. Only those who can pay for residential care may recieve it. Regardless of how ill the care receiver is, help will only be provided in their home. In Sweden, approximately one out of five care receiver lives in a residential care home, and those that do, have been found to have explicitly severe disabilities or health conditions, motivating their move into a residential care unit.

During the upcoming week, my hope is to meet some of the social workers who provide care, and carry out at least one formal interview.

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