Ljubljana, 27 March (STA) - Plans have been revealed for the construction of five smaller care facilities for the elderly in Slovenia which would be managed by a subsidiary of the French multinational Orpea.
If the state grants the requisite concessions, these facilities could become models of long-term care in smaller communities, the representatives of the municipalities Komenda, Loška Dolina, Pivka, Železniki and Žiri told the press on Tuesday.
The facilities have been promoted by the five municipalities plus Firis Imperl, a company specialising in the education of care workers, and the Anton Trstenjak Institute, a think-tank focused on gerontology.
The news comes in the aftermath of reports about increasing waiting lines in Slovenian elderly care facilities.
Real-time data by the Association of Social Care Institutions shows almost 8,000 people are currently waiting for a place, with the number of available places in the single digits.
There are over 100 elderly care facilities in Slovenia offering just over 20,000 places, most of which are large institutions.
Many Slovenians, especially those living along the border, have therefore opted to spend their old age in Croatia, where the state promotes small, home-like facilities with just a few dozen residents.
The new facilities would have 50-70 residents and offer a higher standard of living than most existing institutions, with single-bed rooms and apartments.
Despite the higher standard, the price would be slightly lower than in other care homes with concessions because of shared management and purchasing services, according to Franc Imperl, the director of Firis Imperl.
Jože Ramovš of the Anton Trstenjak Institute said the new facilities were a response to the growing needs of the elderly population.
He said a comprehensive system of long-term care in the local community was needed. This is also in line with the European trend of deinstitutionalizing long-term care.
Orpea, the French multinational, posted sales of EUR 3.1bn for 2017, a tenth higher than in the year before. Its web site suggests it manages over 800 beds in almost 800 elderly care facilities in Western and Eastern Europe.