Holiday of the fragile

Holiday of the fragile

Society
02 October 2019, 16:48 78
International Day of Older Persons was first celebrated in Europe, then in America, and in the late 90s of the last century, all around the world. According to the UN General Assembly resolution, the main purpose of the holiday, celebrated on October 1, is to promote older persons’ active participation in the family, community, as well as society, and raise awareness of their rights and needs.
According to the UN, the composition of the world's population has changed dramatically over the past decades - from 1950 to 2010, the average life expectancy in the world increased from 46 to 68 and is predicted to be 81 by the end of the century. There are currently more than 900 million people in the world over 60 years of age, and by 2050 their number is expected to be close to two billion and comprise more than 20% of the world's population. According to experts, for the first time in human history, in 2050, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to globally outnumber youth.
 
About 400,000 elderly people in Azerbaijan       
 
Since 1993, International Day of Older Persons is celebrated in our country. As a result of the great attention and care of Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev to the elderly and their problems, the law on providing social services for the elderly was signed on 22 June, 2001. Under the law, citizens of Azerbaijan who have reached the age of 70, as well as foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in the country are considered to be older persons. Due to the great leader’s care and attention, consistent work has been carried out to increase the maintenance of citizens of this category. Today, retired people in Azerbaijan are surrounded by care and attention. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev approved the state program on strengthening the social protection of senior citizens. There are also ongoing reforms to improve the social status of the elderly, which will reform the country's social protection system to meet international standards. In this year alone, the minimum pension was doubled in social packages to improve their livelihoods. Since 2006, when the newly adopted Law on Labour Pensions came into force, minimum pensions in Azerbaijan increased by 8 times. In particular, social reform packages presented by President Ilham Aliyev in 2019, which provided revolutionary progress in the social sphere, furthered steps taken in this regard. As of March 2019, the minimum pension in Azerbaijan increased from 116 manats (from 80 manats in some categories) to 160 manats, and to 200 manats from October. Thus, the minimum pension in Azerbaijan increased by 72.4 % over the current year. Thus, the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) in the country exceeded by 14.2 percent (149 manats), taking first place among CIS countries.
According to Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, individuals aged 70 or over are considered older persons under law and there are about 400,000 senior citizens in Azerbaijan.
 
Daily services provided for the elderly
 
Successfully pursued and further strengthened by President Ilham Aliyev, this policy has allowed the nation to take greater measures every year to ensure reliable social protection of our older persons. Important steps have been taken to increase public care for the elderly as a result of relevant decrees and orders signed by the head of state, state programs on the development of demography and the population's welfare, as well as strengthening social protection of senior citizens and other documents.
Some senior citizens are also World War II veterans. Each year, on the eve of May 9 - Victory Day, financial support is given to World War II veterans, widows of fighters who later passed, and persons awarded with orders and medals for their self-sacrificing work in the frontline. At the same time, under the presidential Order, dated 15 April, 2019, the monthly pensions for disabled veterans of the I degree increased to 150 manats, II degree disabled veterans to 130 manats, and III degree disabled veterans to 100 manats. Also, a monthly stipend of 50 manats was established for caregivers of disabled veterans of the I degree. The monthly stipend allocated by the president for World War II veterans also increased to 150 manats. In the past, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population has also provided housing and vehicles to citizens in other relevant categories, including disabled World War II veterans.
 
The noble projects of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation
 
In recent years, as in many social welfare facilities, the ministry’s social welfare facilities for retired people, which houses 235 people who are mainly older persons, were provided with modern living standards. A second building was also built and commissioned for the facility. The noble projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation also cover social welfare facilities for retired people. Within the framework of these projects medical check-ups, concerts, holiday celebrations and so on are provided for senior citizens in these facilities.
Under the Law on Social Services, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population currently provides social housing services to up to 10,000 lonesome elderly and disabled people. Of them, 7,700 are older persons. As social and domestic services, they are assisted by social workers in household cleaning, cooking, obtaining essential food, industrial and household goods, as well as medical and psychological assistance, legal advice and so on.
In addition, the presidential Order of June 1, 2019, on extra measures to improve social services to children and other people in need for special care, facilitated daily social services for the elderly as a new direction in the social services system.
Under the presidential Order, social service centers were created in 10 cities and districts (Binagadi, Khazar, Sabunchu, Pirallahi, Sumgayit, Ganja, Mingachevir, Absheron, Lankaran, Khachmaz) to provide social services for the elderly.
In these centers, elderly people are provided with social and domestic services, their leisure time is organized in a meaningful way.
 
Tarana Maharramova