Visit to care home for war and labor veterans Svitanak

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The system of protection and support of elderly people should be created within three years, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited the care home for war and labor veterans Svitanak in the village of Treskovshchina, Minsk District, on 5 January.

“We have already outlined what we should do to create this system. There is no need to drag this process for five years. We can do it within three years,” the head of state demanded.

The President stressed that life situations can be different. “We can cite rent as an example. Some elderly people are left without care regardless whether they have children or not. No one takes care of them. Our objective is to support such elderly people. A person has the right to secure decent old age. Normal living conditions should be created for the elderly,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Some of these people have children, but they are living in care homes. Some of them have property, mostly, apartments. For example, people sign away these apartments to their children or someone else if they are childless.”

“We should take care of the elderly, and the state should take charge of their property if the elderly owners agree to,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He added that there is a need for certain inventory. There are the cases when elderly people give away their property to someone else and move to live in care homes. There are also the cases when they fall victim to real estate swindlers,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.

He demanded to review all cases and inform him about the results. “This needs to be done informally, together with the local authorities. We also need to ask the opinion of the people living here,” he added.

In his words, there are enough scoundrels who abandon their parents and do not take care of them. “Certain people fail to take care of themselves, to say nothing of the elderly. However, they have already appropriated the apartments of their parents, drunk them away or just sold them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The President urged to address this issue and discover the cases when the apartments of the elderly were, in fact, taken away. Aleksandr Lukashenko deems it necessary to work out the system of supporting elderly people in rural and urban areas, and to decide who will be in charge of it – the state or private organizations.

In this context, Labor and Social Security Minister Marianna Shchetkina said that this issue should be the purview of the state. In her words, if, for example, a deal on the alienation of property had been concluded within three years, the elderly can live in care homes on a fee-paying basis only. She also suggested increasing this period to at least five years.

“It can be increased to even ten years. I have just said that you need to do the inventory to see if there were such cases when elderly people were deprived of their property. If we explain this issue to people, they will certainly agree to give their apartments to the state. Therefore, the state should take care of the elderly. Private organizations will not solve this issue in a way the state can do it,” the President said. He believes that social and religious organizations such as, for example, the Red Cross, can help too. But the matter is about assistance only. “We will be grateful to all those who will give their helping hand. But the care of the elderly is the area of responsibility of the state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.