100 patients over 65 will participate in a social-medical experiment under a European program

100 patients over 65 will participate in a social-medical experiment under a European program
100 patients over 65 will participate in a social-medical experiment under a European program

100 elderly people from Sofia will be covered in a two-year international pilot project Beyond Sylos, the aim of which is to be the basis of a new pan-European policy to support elderly people with chronic diseases. On the Bulgarian side, the project is implemented by the Center for the Protection of Rights in He althcare. The goals and essence of the project were explained to My Clinic by Dr. Hristina Hristova, former Minister of Social Affairs in the government of Simeon of Saxe-Coburg.

Dr. Hristova, what do you think are the advantages of integrated medical and social care?

- One of the objectives of the pilot project is for the European Union to establish how much these integrated care and services will cost to meet the challenge that the population of the Old Continent is increasingly aging. According to preliminary data, we believe that it will be more effective than if the sick elderly person is in a specialized institution or on hospital treatment. There is only a one-time purchase of a small set of adult-affordable technology here. There are no large costs for hospital treatment or for a specialized institution, there is no purchase of medicines, sanitary materials, food, electricity, water, steam heating, salaries of doctors, nurses and other staff.

We will have an exchange of information about the most effective social and medical services that will improve the functional status of the person, his quality of life. We expect that when the project is over, the people who participated in it will really have an improvement in their status and quality of life. The biggest advantage is that the person is in their usual home environment and is not cut off from their community.

This project comes on time in Bulgaria. Our country must work to make services for the elderly cheaper and more efficient, because

our nation is progressively aging

In terms of this indicator, we are in third place in Europe after the Germans and Italians, and in terms of rate of aging, we are in first place. It is expected that by 2050, one in three Bulgarians will be older than 65 and only one in two will be fit for work.

According to data from the National Center for Public He alth and Analyzes from 2011, 18.9% of Bulgaria's population was over the age of 65. In 1970, this percentage was 9.7%, i.e. is. the elderly have doubled and the tendency is for their number to grow. In Europe, in 2000, 12.5% of the population was over 65. According to an analysis by the European Commission, it is expected that in 2050, people of disabled age will be 17.6%. For this reason, there is much concern in European countries about whether their he alth and social systems will survive. This is one of the reasons to realize this type of project.

The project is also caused by the increased morbidity of people over 65.

More than 75% of adults have at least one chronic disease

They irregularly and untimely take their medicines, which are vital for them, and sometimes they miss taking them. As a result, their he alth deteriorates and hospitalizations increase. They also have an increased risk of domestic accidents.

What is the Beyond Sylos project and how much does it cost?

- This is the first attempt in Bulgaria to combine medical and social services for the elderly through high technology. Personally, I will take care of the social side of these integrated services in the project. The total value of the project is 5 million euros, and the Bulgarian part is 500,000 euros, half of which is self-financed, and the other half - a grant from the European Commission. Bulgaria participates together with organizations from Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The results from the five countries will be analyzed and if the model for combining social and medical care proves to be more effective than the traditional one, it will be put into practice across Europe.

What criteria must the project participants meet?

- Single elderly people with chronic diseases will be selected. The condition for inclusion is that they are over 65 years old, have at least one chronic illness, use at least one social service on a regular basis, are not housed in a social institution,

not suffer from severe mental disorder

or a severe form of dementia and are not at risk of death in the coming year.

How will participants be cared for?

- A technique will be installed in the elderly person's home, through which the center will receive information about his blood pressure, about the temperature in the room - whether he is in danger of freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer, which led to an exacerbation of his chronic diseases. There will also be a panic button for a permanent connection. The 24-hour permanent contact center is about to open.

Participants will be covered with a complex of social services. Some will have a personal assistant who will stay in their home for 8 hours. Others will have a social assistant for 2 hours a day, for example for a chat or to help fill in paperwork for a pension or something. There will be a domestic helper for cleaning or domestic social patronage will be used to provide food. In the project, there will be both planned and extraordinary visits - at the request of the participating elderly people. If necessary, additional social services will be included.

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