The Elderly Care Sector in Bulgaria

The results of the statistical institute show that the current demographic situation in Bulgaria is characterized by a continuing decline and an aging population. At the same time life expectancy continues to increase, and last year it reached an average of 71 years for men and 78 for women.

Bulgaria’s social service system for the elderly has grown significantly in the past few years thanks to recent reforms aimed at deinstitutionalization and providing more community and home-based services. Yet, the country’s National Report on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008-2010 states “there is no long-term approach for establishing an adequate system for LTC” to match demographic forecasts.
These statistics indicate the growing need of professionals working in the elderly care sector.

Types of services existing

Personal assistants, social assistants, home assistants, home nurses and home social patronage provide services at home environment by assisting the patient in different activities regarding hygiene, food, organization of everyday life, movement, rehabilitation, etc.
Caregivers and healthcare assistants provide basic health care and/or help medical staff at hospitals for continuing treatment (medical and rehabilitation institutions, specialized institutions for social services, medical and social institutions) and in the community (hospices for terminally ill patients at home environment and in institutions for people with disabilities). They may find further employment opportunities at old people’s homes and care homes.