Aleksandr Lukashenko visits rest home for war and labor veterans

    Care for the elderly people will remain one of the priorities for the state, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he paid a visit to the national rest home for war and labor veterans.

    The rest home is situated in Zhdanovichi, Minsk District. It is home to 166 people.

    According to Labor and Social Protection Minister Marianna Shchetkina, the rest home is meant for people who made a considerable contribution to the victory in the Great Patriotic War and the country’s development in the time of peace. “This is the only place of this kind in the CIS. We should keep this rest home for people who have done a lot for the country,” the minister said. In her words, the rest home is primarily meant for lone elderly people. However, it can offer accommodation for elderly people who have close relatives provided these relatives pay for their stay. At present 47 people like that live in the rest home. Their stay costs Br3 million per month.

    The President said that children should be obliged to take greater care of elderly parents.

    “We need to oblige children to take care of their elderly parents; if they do not want to do it, we should make them pay,” the head of state said. The President gave instructions to study the legal aspect of the matter. “If the legislation does not regulate the matter, we need to make a corresponding decision in the first half of the year. Children should look after their parents,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he will study the state of efforts to implement his decisions regarding parents who left their children in orphanages.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko wanted to know about the problems of the veterans living in the rest home. The minister, the director of the rest home and the dwellers assured the head of state that the rest home offers most comfortable living conditions.

    The rest home welcomed the first dwellers in 1974. The rest home was renovated upon the instruction of the President; a healthcare and rehabilitation facility was commissioned there in 2011. Repair works are underway in individual residential and auxiliary facilities. Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered to make sure that money is not wasted during renovation projects.

    Marianna Shchetkina told the head of state that there are 22 rest homes for war and labor veterans in Belarus. These rest homes offer home-like conditions for the elderly people, including good food, clothing, footwear, domestic services, 24/7 supervision and healthcare services. Elderly people having no able-bodied family members are taken care by the state. If elderly people have able-bodied relatives, these relatives have to look after them. Elderly people can be given a place in rest homes if their relatives pay for the stay.

    The head of state remarked that the social service for the elderly will be reviewed in H1 2013.

    The President was made familiar with the living standards the rest home offers, visited a gym, a swimming pool, living rooms, the library, and the Great Patriotic War museum. After that the veterans invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to a tea party. In honor of the guest the veterans had prepared an entertainment program: they performed songs, recited poetry, and shared stories of their lives.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that the state will continue doing its utmost for the sake of the proper life of the elderly people.

    “I want you to live and I want others to look at you and appreciate life,” the President said.

    One of the residents of the rest home wished the country had a holiday for partisans. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I cannot agree that the country doesn’t know who partisans are and what role they played,” the President said. “There are people, who are now trying to besmirch the partisan movement. But in our country we will not allow the distortion of your deed”. The Belarus President remarked that the construction of the Great Patriotic War Museum will be finished this year and the role of partisans will be reflected there among other things. “It will be a grand museum. We will make it the most contemporary museum there is, a pompous one if you want, so that people, who visit Minsk and enter the museum, would understand what our nation has done for them to live,” said the head of state. “Western Europe should remember and appreciate that our tenacity and steadfastness gave them life,” said the President. “We get periodically reproached… Stop that because you haven’t settled the debt for what we did for you during the Great Patriotic War. You live because many of our people died”.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that Belarus had preserved the holidays that originate in the Soviet time and the country celebrates them these days in a slightly different manner. “We do everything for the memory about that period to persist in the minds of the youth,” said the head of state.

    In remembrance of the visit to the rest home Aleksandr Lukashenko was presented two pictures - a painted one and an embroidered one. The veterans also wished the head of state to rest more because they believe he works too hard. “We need you. As long as you are at the helm, we are absolutely confident that we, the elderly, are cared for,” a boarder told the President. A home theater was gifted to the veterans on behalf of the head of state.