On Friday 7 September 2018 in the Red Cross of Serbia a panel discussion was organised under the title “Growing old in Serbia: material and financial status of older people”. The discussion was organised within the framework of “Taking action on Social Inclusion of Older People” project (TASIOP) to mark the publishing of the sixth issue of MONS – Monitoring Social Situation in Serbia, published online at www.mons.rs. The panel aimed to initiate a discussion on how the current situation of older people in Serbia has been reached, what the society and the state can do to improve it, and what individuals – especially today’s youth – can do to contribute.
The discussion included the following topics:
- Are men and women over the age of 65 in the same position or is one of these two populations more exposed to risk?
- What does active ageing entail and how to exercise active and healthy ageing in Serbia?
Marija Babovic, editor of the sixth MONS issue and Director of SeConS Group for Development Initiatives discussed the status of older people in Serbia in comparison with EU countries, comparing the risk of poverty, differences in treatment, and the practice of active ageing. Natasa Todorovic and Milutin Vracevic of the Red Cross of Serbia talked about long term care services in Serbia, what are the needs and what are the capacities in this area and what the government can do to improve the current situation. The also provided recommendations that include:
- Increasing the number of services:
- Healthcare services in the community (including palliative care)
- Health prevention programmes
- Support to active ageing
- Broader spectrum of social welfare services, especially provided in the community
- Support to informal care providers
Nadezda Sataric, Amity Serbia spoke about the current absence of intergenerational solidarity and its consequences for future older population. Gradimir Zajic, retired Sociologist spoke about retirement not necessarily having to be a move to the societal margin and about the new opportunities that it opens that can be beneficial for the individual and the society.
The Red Cross of Serbia has in the framework of “Taking action on Social Inclusion of Older People” project conducted a research in cooperation with SeConS Group for Development Initiatives, entitled “Social Inclusion of Older People (65+) in Serbia”. This project is supported by European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Austrian Red Cross and coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia in five countries of the Western Balkans region.