Since the beginning of the 90s, an aging process in Polish society takes place. This progress expresses itself in the increasing number of people who already reached retirement age and in the decreasing number of young and productive people. Looking at these facts, Poland is part of the general demographic trend which is characteristic for most European countries.

It is expected that the number of people in Poland aged 60 or older will increase significantly in 2012 and 2013 while the total population will decrease during the same period by about 2 million people.

Currently, 13,5 percent of the inhabitants in Poland are older than 65 years (5 million). Until 2030 this number is expected to double (Source: Main Statistical Office).

The elderly care system in Poland

In Poland the elderly care is carried out by two cooperating sectors: healthcare and social care.

  • Healthcare (institutional and home care)

The institutional care takes place in care and treatment centers, hospices and clinics. In contrast to this, home care is organized in cooperation with the responsible family doctor, care assistance for elderly people and community care workers. The minimum of time calculated for one patient is about 1, 5 hours a day (not less than 4 days a week).

  • Social care (institutional, daily care and home care)

The institutional care takes place in social welfare houses for elderly people where care is provided 24 hours a day. The daily care is organized in daycare houses. Both types of institutions are financed by local governmental organizations as well as NGOs and church organizations.
The home care is done by professional caretakers who have to spend a maximum of time of 8 hours a day for their work. Besides institutional care there is private home care. The caretakers can be employed by the patient or by the patient's family. It is also often the case that caretakers live in the same house with their patient.