Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Parfenova O. A. The Key Agents of Care for Older People in Modern Russia. Petersburgs Sociology Today, 2019. Vol. 11, pp. 22-33. DOI: 10.25990 ...



Parfenova O. A. The Key Agents of Care for Older People in Modern Russia. Petersburgs Sociology Today, 2019. Vol. 11, pp. 22-33. DOI: 10.25990/socinstras.pss-11.va9x-vc30
ISSN 2308-3166
DOI 10.25990/socinstras.pss-11.va9x-vc30

Posted on site: 23.08.19

URL: http://pitersociology.ru/ru/node/652 ( 23.08.2019)


Abstract

The aging population, the nuclearization of families, and, as a result, the growing number of single elderly people have stimulated the development of social policy and the emergence of new agents of older people care in modern Russia. In addition to the traditional agent the family, state social services and NGOs/ business organizations have appeared. To analyze their activities, we used materials from our studies of 2011-2014 and 2017-2018 (interviews with older people, representatives of state social services, official documents of various levels) and publications of other researchers. Intra-family care for an old person is often a necessary measure, albeit a culturally approved one. A new form of quasi-family care is an actively developing institution of foster families for the elderly. Another major agent of care is state social services. The main difficulties in their work with the elderly, according to our data, are associated with a rather bureaucratic, limited and inflexible format of service provision. Such a format is able to satisfy some part of the basic needs of an elderly person, but practically does not allow the most elderly person to be an agent in organizing self-care. In this case, too much emotional and physical stress falls on social workers. An alternative to public services are NPOs/business organizations offering a wider and more flexible range of services. However, here we encounter several problems at once: the problem of access (as a rule, they only work in large cities with a population of over one million); too high cost of services. In the case when a business organization or NPO is included in the register of social service providers and can offer their services at prices comparable to government services, there is a problem of poor awareness/mistrust/alertness on the part of older people who reproduce the logic state means reliable.