Integrated care for elderly in Slovakia

One of the priorities of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) 2011-2012 in Slovakia is policy and technical recommendations for long-term care of the elderly at national and local levels. An important event to support this was a conference entitled, “Does society create favourable conditions for active ageing?” held on 20 October 2011, in Bratislava.

The rising demand for long-term care (LTC) calls for policy approaches allowing for holistic and inclusive views that integrate the roles of different public programmes, sectors of society and private initiatives. Moreover, there is growing evidence about discrimination of dependent older people with respect to their access to mainstream health care and to prevention and rehabilitation that need to be addressed by health and LTC reforms. The objective of the WHO Regional Office for Europe's work in Slovakia in the framework of the BCA 2011-2012, was to analyse the LTC system for older people in the country, to identify and to address the needs and gaps by formulating recommendations for legislation and other sectors. During the biennium, the technical work has been  accompanied by public awareness raising events and campaigns, organized by the WHO Country Office, Slovakia and its local partners.
Partners for the the recently held conference were the Bratislava City Hall and Foundation Socia, a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in social services for elderly. The conference was held under the auspices of Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, who addressed the participants at the opening together with the Minister of Health of Slovakia, SR Ivan Uhliarik. Her Excellency, the Norwegian Ambassador to Slovakia, Mrs Tryne Skymeon, provided in-depth information about organizing services for the elderly in Norway.

The conference served as an unique opportunity for local authorities, NGOs and senior clubs to share their experiences with conducting activities that promote health and active ageing. A lot of reference was also made to the 2012 European year of active ageing and intergeneration solidarity, as well as World Health Day 2012 on healthy ageing. 
Thanks to the established partnership between the BCA work and the project Interlinks,it has been possible to multiply the impact of the work by producing a range of publications and information brochures for policy-makers, academic institutions and lay public in the Slovak language.