Social services will become more targeted and efficientAug 27, 2015
The Cabinet of Ministers issued on 10 August 2015 its resolution ‘on measures to strengthen targeted social protection and support for the lonely elderly and people with disabilities’ to implement the Presidential order under the national ‘Year of Care for the Elderly’ program. The resolution extends the list of people who are eligible for public social services and support, introduces new types of services and new procedures to provide these services.
These issues were the subject of the press conference attended by the Uzbek Minister of Labor and Social Protection, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan and representatives from the media.
As stated during the event, the resolution introduces a wide range of new social protection measures and strengthens the existing ones for the lonely elderly and people with disabilities.
Starting from January 2016, the ministry will develop individual social service programs for each of more than 17,000 elderly people and people with disabilities who need external care but live without children and relatives to support them. These programs will meet the needs of the lonely elderly and people with disabilities with a focus in five areas, namely treatment, home-based care, improving living conditions, social and legal protection and improved socialization and recreation.
Home-based care procedures will also change: earlier, the frequency length of visits by social workers did not depend on the extent of the beneficiary’s health impairment and ability to self-service, while from now on the volume of services and the frequency of visits will be determined against the Barthel and Lawton scale.
The other novelty in the social protection area is increased monthly food packages and hygiene products for the lonely elderly and people with disabilities: these packages will include 15 items instead of 9. In addition, the beneficiary will be able to choose the types and quantities of the food and hygiene products within the total package cost. For example, an elderly person can wish to choose to receive only sugar for the total package cost.
The resolution is one of the results achieved under the UNDP ‘Improving quality of social service delivery for persons with disabilities and lonely elderly people in Uzbekistan’ project.
The project’s key goal is to improve the quality of the social services for persons with disabilities and lonely elderly people provided by the agencies of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Uzbekistan.
The joint initiative with the Government also helps prepare a regulatory framework for the social protection of the elderly people. Besides, the project seeks to establish a feedback system to learn the beneficiaries’ perception of the existing social services and the rehabilitation and prosthetics products, while introducing international best practices to the national professionalized social services for the elderly.