Albania (Observer Status)

Introduction

The Albanian Association of Geriatric and Geriatrics (AAGG) was established in 1991, which coincided with the change of the political and socioeconomic system in Albania from a communist regime into a market-oriented economy. The mission of AAGG is to improve the health status and quality of life of elderly people in Albania through provision of health care services and social services in different settings and communities all over Albania.

Socioeconomic conditions and health status of elderly people in Albania

According to the information provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the proportion of the population over 65 years of age in Albania has reached 12%in 2010. Furthermore, projections suggest that the proportion of older people in Albania will double over the next 35 years. Coupled with falling birth rates and increasing life expectancy, this will eventually lead to a substantial reduction of the economically active proportion of the population. At the same time, high levels of chronic illness, a huge burden of avoidable disability, economic deprivation and a lack of social opportunities mean that most elderly people in Albania are in a struggle to survive rather than enjoying the personal and social possibilities common in many other European countries. Consequently, the Albanian society as a whole is deprived of much of the contribution it could gain from the experience of its older citizens.

Demographic trends mixed with a society in economic and political transition raise concerns about increasing needs for care and social inclusion of older people in Albania. Moreover, there is a low level of preparation of the Albanian society to cope with chronic diseases and long-term care. Complex policies and actions should be considered by a number of stakeholders, including government and civic society in Albania.

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