ROVERETO. Last year in Rovereto and Vallagarina, about 700 elderly people were helped at home by the valley community and by the affiliated social cooperatives. Of these, 265 had home help in a total of 27 thousand hours, 234 had meals brought home, 49 elderly people ate at facilities, 153 were followed by remote help and remote control.
However, the number of users of these services is declining. In 2017, five years ago, 742 people were followed, and home care hours were 40,000, a third more. On the other hand, the demand for aid has not fallen in recent years, if anything, it has grown because the elderly population continues to rise. Of course, part of the decline in users can be attributed to Covid, not only because the elderly have paid the highest price for the pandemic, but also for the increased fear of having people outside the family at home.
However, the other reason for the reduction is that the public resources allocated to these services decreased by 17% in five years.
The picture of the efforts for the elderly and other social services appears in the Vallagarina community’s management report for 2021 approved by Commissioner Stefano Bisoffi last Tuesday, 7 June. The analysis of the population by age group, we read in the report, also highlights a generational imbalance in Vallagarina. The elderly population over the age of 65 makes up about 23% of the total population, but in the future this percentage is destined to grow. Furthermore, the increase in average life expectancy leads to an increase in the so-called large elderly, those aged 75 and over, and represents the age group where there is a greater need for social and welfare support measures.
The intervention of the valley community is only part of the assistance to the elderly. There are nursing homes, more precisely nursing homes or RSAs. There are interventions in the social health sector, managed by the provincial health authority and by accredited bodies from the third sector. And then there is large private market of family assistants, carers: those regularly registered by the INPS are about 750 in the area, 4,500 throughout Trentino.
The resources for social interventions come to the local communities from the province. In 2017, the Vallagarina community had 2 million 408 thousand euros in its budget for efforts for the elderly. In 2018 the figure dropped to 2 million 231 thousand euros, in 2019 we are at 2 million 158 thousand euros. In 2020, thanks to the pandemic and the reduction of services, this will fall to 1 million 892 thousand euros. Last year, there was a small increase to 1 million 984 thousand euros, which, however, is 17.6% less than the resources from five years earlier. Home care is managed partly by Community staff and partly by the Vales di Rovereto social cooperative, which has been operating for thirty years in agreement with local authorities in the area.
The current agreement was extended at the end of this year, while the tender for the management of the service was launched, with many risks and controversial issues (see box). The policy for these services, we remind you once again, depends on the provincial government more than on the community of the valley.306 users of home care in 2017 with 40,123 hours of service.
In 2021, there were 265 users a total of 27,409 hours, 31.7% less in five years. Meals at home instead rose from 214 in 2017 to 234 last year. The number of elderly people eating at facilities is declining, from 84 five years ago to 49 in 2021. Users of remote assistance and remote control services have gone from 138 five years ago to 153 last year. , has affected the help the families have requested. Distrust of people outside the family entering their homes has increased. On the other hand, in relation to the problems that have arisen for Covid in old age homes, there has been an increase in inquiries from families who have decided to keep elderly family members at home, and who, however, have mainly resorted to carers.