Tatarstan faced with problem of elderly people abandoned by their children

On 28 September, in the Cabinet of Ministers, representatives of ministries and the Pension Fund told how and where almost 7 billion rubles of social support are spent annually on 1,2 million elderly residents of Tatarstan. These include pilot programmes that have been implemented in the Republic of Tatarstan for a long time — from mass medical screening of villagers in urban medical institutions to attempts to solve the problems of hip fractures and the falls of pensioners, 'kindergartens' for the elderly, nursing schools for relatives, foster families for pensioners. Besides, the authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan seem to have seriously decided to address the issues with lonely elderly people. As it turned out, in 2021, Tatarstan faced the problem of elderly people who are abandoned by their own children. Read about this, as well as about how the Decade of the elderly will pass, in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Almost 7 billion rubles of social support are spent annually on pensioners in Tatarstan

Today, every fourth resident in Tatarstan is older than retirement age, a third of them live in rural areas (28%), said Elmira Zaripova, the minister of labour, employment and social protection of Tatarstan. In total, more than 1 million people. She also drew attention to the growth in the number of the oldest people in the republic. For example, if in 2017 170 people over 100 years old lived in the Republic of Tatarstan, today they are 189. Most centenarians are women.

The so-called pre-retirees have been added to ordinary pensioners in recent years, Zaripova added. In the second half of 2021, men born in the first half of 1960 and women born in the first half of 1968 reach retirement age. The average size of pensions in the Republic of Tatarstan is, however, only 15,475 rubles for the elderly, and for those who have a pension less than the subsistence minimum (this is generally only 11,950 rubles), there is a federal additional payment. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Tatarstan insists that huge amounts of money are spent annually on elderly Tatarstan residents from the republican budget alone.

“We have every second ruble from the package of all social support measures — and this is 13,5 billion rubles this year — goes to support elderly people. First of all, veterans of labour, pre-retirees, owners of residential premises over 70 years old," said Elmira Zaripova.

From mass medical examination of villagers in cities to solving the problem of hip fractures

In connection with the coronavirus, requirements have been added to employers concerning pensioners: for example, the elderly are required to provide two days for mandatory medical examination, and for unjustified dismissal of pensioners the employer faces a fine of up to 200,000 rubles or mandatory work in the amount of 360 hours. Plus administrative liability.

However, as the authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan assure, social and medical assistance to pensioners has been provided in the Republic for a long time — according to individual, including pilot federal and republican, projects. To implement the medical examination programme for the elderly over 65 years old living in rural areas, 43 cars were bought for urban medical institutions, and this, Zaripova noted, is one of the serious projects to change the quality of life of rural residents:

“We call it emergency hospitalisation, when such decisions are made based on the results of medical examination — when it is actually about saving people!”

The Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan is launching a couple of its projects, Almir Abashev, the first deputy head of the department, recalled the serious problem of pensioners with hip fractures — thousands of elderly Tatarstan residents suffer this injury annually. In 2021, it was finally possible to organise a system with clear deadlines from the event to the operating table — this is 48 hours, doctors and social services are now obliged to adhere to these time frames. Previously, this could not be done due to logistical gaps. Secondly, pilot projects are being introduced in pilot mode simultaneously in the Republican Clinical Hospital and the Emergency Medical Hospital (BSMP) in Naberezhnye Chelny on “prevention of falls among the elderly”.

“We create an environment where people would feel comfortable. Assistance to the elderly will be provided by both doctors and social services. If the experience is successful, then we will replicate it throughout Tatarstan," Almir Abashev said.

In 2021, Tatarstan faced the problem of elderly people who are abandoned by their own children

The authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan, it seems, have decided to address the problem of single pensioners, and almost in manual mode. According to Elmira Zaripova, it was in 2021 that the republic faced situations when their children abandoned elderly people, leaving for work in other cities and leaving their parents unattended.

“Children think that their parents will always be young and healthy, but they remain without care. We have introduced a special phone in the autumn — 8 800 600 42 34, we ask sympathetic neighbours to call this number if your friend is a lonely elderly person left without care. Social workers will come on the call, find out who their relatives are and where they are. It may even be a question of collecting alimony. We will not leave an elderly person without attention!” promised the minister of labour and social protection of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Even before the coronavirus, Tatarstan, however, entered into a pilot federal project, and today, Zaripova noted, a system of long-term care for elderly people who have suffered a stroke or heart attack, who have movement restrictions, memory problems, etc. is already being implemented in all regions of the republic. As part of the pilot project, healthcare institutions first determine the status of an elderly person, conduct a comprehensive assessment of their health and direct the results to the social protection authorities. Then the joint patronage of health workers and social services is introduced, according to which 3,300 elderly Tatarstan citizens are being monitored today.

In total, 17,000 elderly residents of the Republic of Tatarstan are annually covered by social services at home. In addition to the above, the technology of a foster family for an elderly person is also being introduced (32 pensioners have already been “sheltered”), a nursing school in which elderly relatives are taught nursing skills so that, as Elmira Zaripova put it, “they don't break their backs”. Three and a half thousand relatives of elderly residents of Tatarstan have already been trained at the nursing school.

Finally, “kindergartens” for the elderly, short-term day care groups for the elderly with mental disorders are being introduced. Over the “covid” 2021 year, despite the restrictions, they have covered 900 residents of Tatarstan.

“We have raised a whole generation of elderly people who are familiar with gadgets!”

A separate layer of work with the elderly is conducted through vocational training, no matter how strange it may sound. Today, every second resident of the Republic of Tatarstan of pre-retirement age, after retraining, the authorities assure, finds a job (in figures — 2,289 out of 4,339).

“Unfortunately, for them, it is not only an opportunity to raise their own incomes, but often they also help their children," said Elmira Zaripova.

Accountants, financiers, teachers and even personnel managers are in demand in the labour market of the Republic of Tatarstan after retraining of the elderly within the framework of the federal project “Older Generation”. Among workers — security guards, cooks, confectioners, boiler room operators. At the same time, Tatarstan has been teaching pensioners computer literacy since 2007, which has made it possible to transfer 87% of social protection services to electronic form.

“In our regions, they ask how the elderly treat gadgets, they can't work with them... We have raised a whole generation of elderly people who are familiar with gadgets!” the minister assured.

Decade of the elderly: from loyalty programmes in retail chains to challenges in social networks

Finally, on September 2, 1,2 million pensioners received a one-time federal payment in the amount of 10,000 rubles in Tatarstan, a total of 11,2 billion rubles were spent on this (and on the anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, 7,4 million rubles were allocated to 743 Tatarstan veterans). This was stated at a press conference dedicated to the Decade of the Elderly of the Republic of Tatarstan by Eduard Vafin, the head of the Pension Fund of Russia for the Republic of Tatarstan. The very branch of the Pension Fund in the Republic of Tatarstan, he added, has recently also become a competence centre for calculating pensions for all residents of Kazakhstan with residence experience in the Russian Federation, from October 1, 2021, the Pension Fund in the Republic of Tatarstan will be responsible for thousands of elderly residents of Baikonur (there is the cosmodrome since Soviet times).

For the elderly, a traditional cultural programme is offered in the beginning of the decade — for example, you can see theatre productions for free, work out in swimming pools and on simulators, visit fairs, as well as take advantage of loyalty programmes for the elderly offered by Pyaterochka, LENTA, Bakhetle, and Magnet chains. On September 30, the Kazan Philharmonic hosts the premiere of the film “When heart sings for joy” — “based on the story of 10 veterans who found an opportunity to help other elderly people during the self-isolation”. On social networks, the authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan launched a challenge dedicated to distant elderly relatives, who will surely be found in every family — officials urge to take a photo with such relative and send an invitation to three “friends” with a call to take a picture, in turn, with their relatives.

Sergey Afanasyev