Is there demand in Russia for care for the elderly?

At the conference
“Quality of life for the elderly and sick” organised with the support of
charitable fund “Ladoga”, a round table meeting took place entitled “Social issues:
Cooperation between the state, businesses and NGOs in supporting the aged”. Representatives
from the NGO, government and business sectors who all provide services to the
elderly acquainted themselves with specific examples of inter-sector partnership
in this field, and discussed the possible challenges and opportunities of
establishing such a partnership in Russia.


The round
table participants noted that one of the main problems is that there is no
market for services to older people in Russia due to a lack of effective demand
and supply. Maria Morozova, general director of “Ladoga”, thinks that demand
for these services is developed by the state, which is itself in a difficult situation;
its social obligations are increasing, the pension system is “coming apart at
the seams” and the population is rapidly aging. According to Lyudmila Kononova,
manager of the division of Social Theory and Technology in the Department of
Social Welfare in Moscow, the state has become an “inflated social security


Irina Ermish, head of the Department of Social Welfare in Ivanovo region, has pointed
out that out of the 20 billion rouble regional budget, 4 billion roubles is
spent solely on direct social payments to the population. She also emphasised
the fact that “the state is prepared to share responsibility but there is
no-one with whom they can do it – the problems of the elderly simply don’t
interest the majority of charitable funds and NGOs.” Likewise, the round-table
participants attempted to understand the problems of older people in general.
Morozova noted that “At the round-table there was much talk of helping invalids
and the infirm. However, with contemporary medicine, a 60 year old doesn’t
necessarily have to be sick.”


to Gulnara Minnigaleeva, research officer in the School of Economics at the
National Research Institute, there needs to be more discussion about how to
stimulate activity and support ongoing training for older people. A pensioner
should not automatically be written off as “unable to work”. Experts believe
that there is scope for NGO activities in this field. Amongst the positive
developments experts noted examples of effective collaboration between the
state and private projects, something which was demonstrated by the keynote
speakers, who spoke about their experience. Morozova stated that the
round-table meeting was the first in a series of programmes supporting “Ladoga”
and the charity’s work with the aged. In the future the organisation intends to
hold regular events where topics such as the quality of life of elderly people
will be discussed.


by Lina Numan



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