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VOLUME 12, NUMBER 1, 2009

Carrying out the stategy of care for the elderly till 2010
Davor Dominkuš

In 2005 Slovenia began preparing a holistic strategy of care for the elderly which was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in 2006. The strategy is based on documents, mainly on the Green Book on intergenerational solidarity, which were adopted by the United Nations Organization and the European Union. The departments collaborating in the preparation of the strategy are obliged to prepare an action plan to carry out the objectives set in the strategy. The Government has set up a Committee for Solidary Coexistence of Generations and Quality Aging of the Population of Slovenia. After two years of implementing the strategy, we are finding that some departments have not yet begun to carry out the measures necessary to realize the adopted goals and that the local communities are not adequately involved.

Key words: Slovenia, sustainable society, demographic changes, coexistence and solidarity between generations.

Author: Davor Dominkuš is a university graduate in sociology who began his career at the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana. For the greater part of his career he has been carrying out the most demanding professional and organizational jobs in managerial positions in the fields of education, employment and social care. Since 2001 he has been in charge of important tasks at what is now the Social Assistance Services and Programmes Division of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs becoming in 2007 the general director of the Social Affairs Directorate.

Partnerships in the pursuing of health and social care objectives
Božidar Voljč

The increasing longevity changes the existing intergenerational relations as well as needs of societies. By implementing new societal solutions it is important to preserve the social and health security, which in all societies concern numerous nongovernmental organizations. Their activities are disseminated and poorly surveyed. It is possible however to link them in a partnerless collaboration, which can be realised in different forms. Untill this time good experiences of them support the need for their strengthening. By linking professional with nongovernmental activities, partnerships represent an appropriate form for the realisation of governmental projects, under the auspices of the governmental services themself. It is important that partnerships are relised in accordance with defined rooles otherwise they could also be fruitless. A special form of the partnershis on the highest level represents intergenerational solidarity.

Key words: longevity, health and social security, civil society, partnerships.

Author: Dr. Božidar Voljč, M.D. is a specialist in family medicine and Public Health. He was a director of two primary health care centers in Ribnica and Kočevje and a director of The Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia that during his management became a collaborative centre of the World Health Organization (WHO). He was the minister of health in the first government in independent Republic of Slovenia. Currently he is a member of the WHO Executive Board. He is also in charge of the Anton Trstenjak Institute’s endeavors in medical gerontology.

The manegement of social and health care environments of old age and aging
Franc Hočevar

Aging is a process. During this process a person is a part of different environments; beside the primary environment of the family and society in a narrow sense, there are the so called institutional environments, of key importance for aging, which we understand as a process beginning with birth, continuing into adulthood and retirement, and ending in death. These environments are environments of the institutions of social care, work process and the health care. Management can significantly intervene in these environments and can regulate them appropriately. Therefore, management can sometimes be the key factor in the suitable functioning of old age and aging environments.

Key words: management, aging, old age, environment, social and health care institutions, work.

Author: Franc Hočevar, MSc, graduated form the Academy of Education in Ljubljana and from the High School of Defectology in Zagreb, and completed his specialization and obtained his MSc in the field of health care management at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana. He is a university lecturer. He was director of the Institute for Rehabilitation of the Republic of Slovenia for two decades, then the director-general of the University Medical Center in Ljubljana. He is a long-time president of the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia and the You Can Choose – Win or Lose foundation. Currently he is the adviser to the President of the Republic of Slovenia on Health and Social Care and Humanitarian Issues.

Intergenerational solidarity and holistic gerontology
Jože Ramovš

Population aging and other immediate demographic challenges require a new type of solidarity between generations. Modern scholarship as well as world-wide, European, and Slovenian political documents recognize the inseparable connection between quality aging and intergenerational solidarity. The path to strengthen intergenerational solidarity is holistic anthropology, which takes into account all human dimensions, needs and capabilities and the individual’s progression through the whole life cycle from conception until death. The first step is the anthropologization of the modern bodies of information amassed by medical, social, economic and other partial branches of gerontology, turning them into one unified science whose distinct mission is to ensure quality aging to each individual and a synergetic partner-like collaboration of the state, civil society, family, and actively involved individuals in solving the problems which present themselves with the aging of the population.

Key words: quality aging, anthropology, intergenerational solidarity, holistic gerontology.

Author: Dr. Jože Ramovš is a social worker, anthropologist and psychotherapist. In the last two decades he is mainly working in the area of social gerontology. In the forefront of his scientific work are intergenerational relations and communication between young, middle and old generation, personal preparation for quality ageing and social preparation for large share of old population, creation of the new intergenerational programmes of modern social network for quality ageing and good intergenerational relations, that are based on the principle of personal self-help and self-help in groups and on professional and public support for developing self-help and self-organisation of the population in the community.

How are we (not) seen and how should we see ourselves
Marjan Sedmak

Do the media pay the due attention to what is going on in civil society in general?And when they do, do they pay adequate attention to all parts of it, first of all to the elderly? Seniors as a social group with its distinctive collective identity still lag behind those social groups with longer tradition of campaigning for its rights (women, disabled, gays) and presence in the society. So called long-living society is relatively new social phenomenon and has still to fight hardly to conquer its place in the media landscape. Are organisations of senior citizens properly equipped to take their place in media landscape? Probably not. The NGO's are no match to the impressive PR facilities of politics, industry and other power centers. Does so called ghetto reporting on elderly and ageing society in general satisfy the needs of societal discourse on the new demographic situations? It is welcome but what we really expect from the media is a permeability of all sectors of media reporting with the issues tackling the age, the changing demography and the problems of older citizens including their right to live a decent life in dignity. And the last question: do the media foster the idea of intergenerational solidarity and interdependence? Whilst the intergenerational interdependence is still strongly felt in average family the politics and media mostly insist in the fragmentation of the social body in big social aggregates. The origin of this fragmentation is usually the position of a social group in the production process – and it is obvious that elderly comes out as a burden to the society. And this stereotype is a priority to clash with.

Key words: civil society, ageing society / long-living society, media, discrimination.

Author: Marjan Sedmak, born 1938 in Maribor, Slovenia (Jugoslavia). Education: Gymnasium (secondary school concentrating on classical studies) 1948-1956, University of Ljubljana Law School, grad. 1962. Professional experience: Journalist with Slovenian Broadcasting Company 1957-1960, with weekly Mladina 1960-1962, with Delo daily newspaper 1962-1993, chief editor of daily Republika 1993-1995. Correspondent for Delo in East Africa (1963), Soviet Union (1967-1970) and Italy (1970-1973). Correspondent for Delo and national broadcasting company in Austria (1976-1980) and Germany (1986-1992). Associations: President of Slovenian Journalistic Association (1992-1997). President of the Ljubljana's League of Senior's Organisations from 2000, Vice-President of AGE – European Older People's Platform. Publications: Translator from English, German and Italian of appr. 25 books on social sciences and media (recent translations from Italian: Norberto Bobbio, La destra e la sinistra 1993; Nicola Matteucci, Lo Stato Moderno 1999; Donatella Della, Porta Introduzione alla scienza politika 2003; Benedetto Conforti, Dritto Internazionale 2005; from English: Edmund B. Lambeth, Commited Journalism. An Ethic for the Profession 1997; John Keane, Civil Society 2000; Briggs/Burke, A Social History of Media; and German: Ferdinand Tönnies, Kritik der Öffentlichen Meinung 1998; Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft 1999 and others).

Active ageing: The role of employers in fostering inclusion and wellbeing of elderly
Jana Žnidaršič, Vlado Dimovski

In the recent years a demographic situation in Slovenia as well as in other European countries has been mostly characterized by a growing proportion of the older population – a trend that is expected to continue in the future. The implications of this trend are not only present on the macroeconomic level (pensions, later retirement, health problems, sustainability of welfare state etc.) but are more and more approached by the companies due to the ageing workforce and also due to the potential shortages of labour supply. The elderly on the other hand are too often excluded from the economic and social life, which threatens to their wellbeing and consequently, the quality of life in old age is put under question, too. In Slovenia the share of those being employed in the year-group 55-64 is extremely low, only 30.7% in 2005, which is much faraway from Lisbon strategy – planning the 50% employment by the year 2010 in the same age-class. This fact urgently calls for immediate action and sheds light on the new challenge employers need to face – a challenge that highlights an emerging paradigm within HRM, synthetically called age management.

Key words: active ageing, organizational model of active ageing, age management, human resource management – HRM.

Authors: Jana Žnidaršič, Ph.D. is teaching and research assistant at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics. She was dealing for more than a decade with the issues of Slovenian educational system, with emphasis on implementation of new learning approaches in educational process; the research on this field – accompanied with entrepreneurial activity – was her mastery degree thesis. Recently, she is working on the issues of contemporary management, especially on age management, as ageing puts forward one of the greatest challenges for companies and society. She has been recently involved in some sound research projects about age management in Slovenian enterprises. Age management on organizational level – in the sense of assuring the possibilities as well as conditions for longer working life – is the research theme of her doctoral dissertation. Vlado Dimovski, Ph.D. is full professor at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, and ex-minister for labour, family and social affairs. In the year 1994, he completed his doctoral dissertation on management and business finance on Cleveland State University (USA) in which he was dealing with learning organization. After his arrival back to his homeland, he was deeply involved in the pedagogic work on the university, leading different research projects dealing with contemporary managerial paradigm, and also, he was playing an active role in policy-making, especially on the field of business and social affairs.

Aging of the population from the point of view of health care insurance
Martin Toth

The population of the world, especially in the economically developed countries, is aging. The portion of the population which is older than 65 is increasing whereas the portion which is 0–18 is decreasing. Experts predict that this trend will continue until the year 2050. The changes in the age and social demographic structure are also linked with changes in the medical condition of the population, resulting in economic and social as well as developmental consequences in all of society. The relation between the economically active and inactive population is changing unfavourably, health care needs are growing, and so is the need for long-term care and other social transfers. The illnesses increasing most rapidly are predominantly chronic illnesses which require long-term health care and ever bigger investments in the health care sector. The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia responded to this challenge by preparing a strategy development program for the period 2008–2013. Rather than on illnesses, it focuses on preventive medicine, the maintenance of health, and a better control of chronic degenerative diseases. With these measures as well as measures taken to streamline the health services, the Institute sets its goal to preserve the components of solidarity in mandatory health insurance and to sustain its financing in the future, even as the demographic and health care circumstances change due to the aging of the population. It emphasises the need to introduce a special insurance coverage for long-term care.

Key words: aging, demographic changes, mandatory health insurance, solidarity, long-term care, chronicle illnesses.

Author: Martin Toth, M.Sc., D.M.D., was for many years the director of the Department for Health Insurance Development at the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia. Until recently he was the adviser to its director-general for two years. Currently he is the adviser to the Minister of Health. In addition to the planning of health care and health insurance he has been involved in public health management and legislation. In these areas he collaborated with the World Bank and European Agency for Restructuring in west Balkan countries as adviser. He also collaborated in the preparation of new legislation in the field of long-term care.

Long-term Care: Projecting Expenditures over the Long Term
Dušan Kidrič

Over the long time horizon the range of services for the entire population changes depending on the population trends. All recent demographic projections indicate a steadily rising life expectancy, coupling with a decreasing fertility rate to result in the aging of the population. The percentage of people aged 80+ is expected to triple by the year 2060, with the percentage of the higher age groups increasing even more. The incidence of those in need of health and social services in their daily activities has been exhibiting a change, but it continues to be high and determines the outlay and the amount of work required. Having to conduct a sound public financing and development policy, every country should know, at least roughly, what expenditure to expect in the future. Herein lies the purpose of estimating the spending associated with population aging. This spending also includes the outgoings for long-term care. The paper describes the contentual, statistical, and methodological bases used in age-related expenditures projections by the Ageing Working Group attached to the Economic Policy Committee of the EU. The results of the 2005 projection for Slovenia are also shown.

Key words: population aging, long-term care, public expenditure projection, national health accounts.

Author: Dušan Kidrič, born in 1944, a longstanding – since 2007 partially retired – member of the team of experts at the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Ljubljana (IMAD) and former head of its Social Welfare and Social Development Department, has held memberships, offices, and advisory positions in such institutions as Slovenia’s ESC (Economic and Social Council) and ISA (Insurance Supervision Agency) and the World Bank-sponsored Social Insurance Technical Assistance Project for Bosnia and Herzegovina (a pension policy advisor). Since 2003 he is a member of the Economic Policy Committee’s Ageing Working Group, preparing long term age-related budgetary projections for the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (»Ecofin«).

Mission, terms and conditions of functioning of the Gerontological association of Slovenia
Meta Mencej

This article informs the public of the activities of the Gerontological Association of Slovenia in the time of its nearly 40 years of existence. In the first decades this was mainly a volunteer expert organisation of people with various professions dealing with the old age, aging and care for the elderly. The association with its expert programmes filled a gap in the interdisciplinary gerontological education and publishing activity, which we pursue currently as well. In the last two decades the association evolved into a general humanitarian organisation, which in addition to the experts unites also elderly people themselves, and prepares special programmes for them with the aim of a better quality of life and a more healthy life style, settling and realizing of the rights of elderly people, solving of personal crises, and informing of the public about the needs of the elderly and of the old age as an important era of life. The association is constantly working on a reestablishment of a global gerontological and geriatric programme on a national level, and for its adequate position in general and specialised educational, study, and research programmes. At the end the author points out also the inadequate material conditions in which the association is operating.

Key words: gerontology, quality of life of the elderly, gerontological education.

Author: Meta Mencej, MD, is a retired Medical Doctor with a degree in public health and the president of the Gerontological Association of Slovenia where she has been active for over 25 years. In the last decades of her working period she was active in the field of social and health care and health legislation. She retired in 1996 as the undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Health of Slovenia.

The history of care for the elderly in Slovenia reaches far in the past
Ivana Vusilović

The year 1041 can be considered as its beginning, when the first orphanage in Ljubljana was founded. The development of gerontology on institutional level started after 2nd World War, when the Institute for gerontology and geriatrics was founded in 1966 under the management of prof. dr. Bojan Accetto. The Institute had three main functions: pedagogical-educational, scientific-research and hospital function. In 1989 the Institute was renamed in Klinika za žilne bolezni (Hospital department for vascular diseases), which practically caused the end of its interdisciplinary educational and research activity. In 1992 Anton Trstenjak Institute of gerontology and intergenerational relations was founded, which focuses the majority of its research, pedagogical and organisational forces on quality ageing and intergenerational relations since the beginning. The Institute publishes the only Slovenian scientific and professional journal for gerontology and intergenerational relations Kakovostna starost (Good quality of old age) since 1998. The gerontological-intergenerational orientation of the Institute is integrated gerontology.

Key words: gerontology in Slovenia, Institute for gerontology and geriatrics, Anton Trstenjak Institute of gerontology and intergenerational relations.

Author: Ivana Vusilović, psychologist, is a full-time researcher and operator of socio-gerontological programmes at Anton Trstenjak Institute.


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