On ageing and old age in Serbia

Mirjana Rasevic, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade
Vladimir Nikitovic, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade

The Serbian population (exclusive of Kosovo and Metohia region) is among the oldest populations in the world. More than 950.000 individuals in the Central Serbia and about 300.000 individuals in Vojvodina, or one sixth of both population are 65 plus. The findings of representative surveys carried out recently pointed out that poverty and poor institutional and instrumental support are the main issues of the elderly population in Serbia. The poverty rate among the elderly is high (9.6 percent) and significantly higher than average (6.6). In the meantime, the coverage of poor elderly in Serbia with material provision of the family (MPF), the most important measure of the State’s social policy, is low due to lack of information of potential beneficiaries, difficulties in collecting all necessary documents as well as strict criteria in connection to means and income tests necessary for exercising the right on this social benefit. Not only that the MPF coverage of poor elderly is inadequate, the amount of this social benefit is also very low. Parallel, interviews with 826 elderly persons of 70 and over demonstrate that, although four out of five elderly are chronic patients, majority of respondents evaluates that they are capable of living in their own households. However, a substantial number of the elderly, every fourth, needs some kind of assistance services with a view to daily functioning at home or in local community. Respondents mainly rely on family in resolving daily problems. A family provides greatest help and support whether such elderly lives alone or not. Significant stakeholders of support to elderly are friends and neighbors of such persons. Institutions have only a marginal role in the elderly support network.

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Presented in Poster Session 3