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“Social Policy for Older People 2030. Safety. Participation. Solidarity” – presentation of the assumptions

26-01-2018

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy, Elżbieta Rafalska, presented the assumptions of the document “Social Policy for Older People 2030. Safety. Participation. Solidarity”.

 

“We need to change the perception of old age and the attitude towards older people in order for these people not to feel excluded; to restore due respect to the elderly, as it used to be in Poland. Unfortunately, today, it is best to be young, beautiful and rich, and everything that comes next raises specific problems,” Elżbieta Rafalska said.

 

The document drawn up entitled “Social Policy for Older People 2030. Safety. Participation. Solidarity”, which will be submitted for inter-ministerial consultations in the coming days, is the first government's document of this type that covers all areas of life related to the elderly, including broadly understood safety, health, active participation in social life, as well as the need to adapt the infrastructure, the health care system and the labour market to the needs and capabilities of older people.

 

Its implementation is an element of the Responsible Development Strategy. The creation of a comprehensive Programme in the field of senior policy will allow to systematise and improve the activities of public institutions for older people in Poland. These solutions will also contribute to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the elderly and staying independent as long as possible.

 

As part of the Senior Policy Council at the MFLSP, chaired by Prof. Józefina Hrynkiewicz, a Team for development of social policy orientations towards the elderly was established under the supervision of Prof. Piotr Szukalski. Development of the document “Social Policy for Older People 2030. Safety. Participation. Solidarity”lasted over a year as part of social work.

 

The proposed social policy has been planned until 2030. This results, among others, from the course of social and demographic processes for which not only forecasts but actual data are known. In 2030, generations of the first post-war demographic boom (1946-1959) will reach the age of 84 (the oldest) and 71 (the youngest). Therefore, it is possible to observe the functioning of the Programme over a dozen or so years in the situation of older people's needs changing with their age.

 

The Programme is based on three pillars – safety, participation and solidarity. These elements are crucial because they guarantee a significant increase in the quality of live and thee standard of living of older people.

 

The document provides for the implementation of a series of actions for all older people in the following areas:

1.     Shaping a positive perception of old age in the society;

2.     Participation in social life and support for all forms of civic, social, cultural, artistic and sports activities;

3.     Creating conditions which enable the elderly to use their potential as active participants of economic life and the labour market, adapted to their psychophysical abilities and family situation;

4.     Promoting health, preventing diseases, access to diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation;

5.     Increasing physical security – preventing violence and neglect of the elderly;

6.     Creating conditions for solidarity and intergenerational integration;

7.     Education for old age (care and medical staff), until old age (the entire society), by old age (from the youngest generation) and education in old age (older people).

 

In addition, in the “Social Policy for Older People 2030,”activities focusing on older dependent people have been designed for the first time, including:

1.     Reducing the scale of dependence on others by facilitating access to services which strengthen independence and adaptation of the living environment to the functional capabilities of these people;

2.     Ensuring optimal access to health, rehabilitation and care services adapted to the needs of older dependent people;

3.     A network of environmental and institutional services provided to elderly, dependent people;

4.     System of support for informal carers of older dependent people by public institutions.

 

The objective of the Programme presented by the Government is to create conditions for standardised assistance and care services that support the functioning of the elderly. Actions in this area will include, among others, legal regulation of the risk of dependence and large-scale implementation of standardised telemedicine with a different range of services, adapted to the users' fitness. Development of standards in the field of telecare and teleassistance will improve the quality of life of a large number of elderly people.

 

In addition to activities aimed at providing direct services to older dependent people, it is also necessary to adapt the living environment to the functional capabilities of these people. Therefore, projects taking into account universal design as well as conducting research in the field of designing flats adapted to the special needs of dependent people have been planned.

 

The effects of implementation of the Programme included in the “Social Policy towards for Elderly People 2030” will be subject to assessment as part of subsequent editions of “Information on the Situation of Elderly People in Poland,” which has been the prepared by the government already two times, for 2015 and 2016, in accordance with the Act on older people.

 

The adoption of this document will not result in additional costs for the public finance sector, and its financing will be done through appropriate allocation of financial resources at the disposal of public finance sector entities.

 

 

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