Access to long-term care services in North Macedonia
On April 19, 2023, the public opinion survey “Access to long-term care services in North Macedonia” was presented in the premises of the Red Cross of RNM within the framework of the project “Strengthening the resilience of the older people and people with disabilities during COVID-19” and future disasters.
The event was attended by the Secretary General of the Red Cross of RNM, PhD. Sait Saiti, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Mrs. Jovanka Trenchevska, the Minister of Health, Dr. Fatmir Medziti and other guests from the Red Cross of Serbia, SeConS group for development initiative and the association “Humanost”.
The Secretary General of the Red Cross of RNM, PhD. Sait Saiti, emphasized that the Red Cross of RNM has long experience in delivering social services for assistance and care to older people and people with disabilities. Experience shows that many older people prefer to receive assistance and care services at home – because they feel comfortable, calm and safe in their own home. The range of needs and demands of the older people is far greater than the available capacities for providing such services. In this regard, the Red Cross of RNM, with the aim of training qualified caregivers and assistants who will deliver quality long-term social services, is a verified provider of training for caregivers for assistance and care for the older people (since 2017), as well as a provider of training for personal assistants for persons with disabilities (since 2018). In order to deliver more comprehensive social and health services to the older people, the Red Cross has also been verified to conduct training programs for the Palliative Caregiver for frail persons and assistants for care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
In North Macedonia, the survey carried out with representative sample of people aged 65 and over, indicates that 25.6% of the surveyed people need long-term care due to major difficulties in functioning, while among people with disabilities aged 18-64, as many as 64% are people who need long-term care due to great difficulties in performing daily life activities.
This study was prepared according to the same methodology and with similar samples in the Western Balkans and represents one of the first significant efforts to gain insight into the needs and access to long-term care services, which, taking into account the accelerated demographic aging in the region, will be more needed, by a growing number of people.
The project “Strengthening the resilience of the older people and persons with disabilities during COVID-19 and future disasters” is supported by the European Union, the Austrian Development Agency and the Austrian Red Cross. This project is coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia, and the partners in North Macedonia are the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Association “Humanity”.