Theory: Home care program is a recent program for ensuring quality of life in home setting for older people in Slovenia. Primarily, the users are older people who are living at home and are unable to take care of themselves, or being taken care of by their family members, owing to illness. This program is crucial for sustaining health of older population. Evaluations of this program show that there are significant differences among users considering the accessibility, availability and affordability of home care. Method: Hierarchical clustering analysis is used to cluster municipalities (wards' method of linkage is used). Clustering is performed on standardized variables on level of municipalities. Analysis of variance is used to confirm the significant differences among clusters. Results: Analysis of secondary data shows that several distinct models of organization of home care have spontaneously evolved. Key difference between clusters is efficiency of the program (proportion between financial inputs and quantity and quality of provided care). Affordability (final price paid by users) and accessibility (time of the day and of the week when care is offered) are especially important for users. We have discovered significant differences in provision of home care among municipalities that are related to other characteristics of municipalities. Discussion: Secondary data are valuable for evaluation of quality of home care. However, no information given by users or their family members or care providers is available. Regardless of secondary data, differences on the level on municipalities point to inequality in access to home care in Slovenia.
Elderly represent a vulnerable group due to several reasons, ranging from health, social and other. Social exclusion is a concept that enables observation of vulnerability of elderly and accumulation of different vulnerabilities, which has been seldom used in gerontological research. Method: Author use innovative research method that is based on combination of quantitative and qualitative research. Secondary quantitative data has been used for first part of research to study social exclusion of elderly in Slovenia. This data has been supplemented by in-depth interviews with elderly, which were analysed on the basis of ‘grounded theory’. Results: Analysis of social exclusion areas (heath and access to health care, material deprivation, housing, spatial exclusion and social networks) has shown some more problematic areas. These are: high levels of material deprivation of elderly, spatial exclusion, poor health and poor access to health care. The last two areas have been analysed more in-depth on the basis of qualitative data, by analysing coping strategies of elderly. These are numerous and range from use of technology to help by formal services and social networks. Discussion: The use of secondary data has many advantages and also disadvantages. Therefore it is useful to supplement this data with qualitative research. For understanding vulnerabilities of elderly analysis of their coping strategies seems to be a fruitful way of research, that could enable formation of policies and practices that would support the elderly.
Social work with older people deals with improving their capacity and ability to face and resolve problems, and with raising awareness and encouraging their environment to maintain relational networks. Based on research regarding social work with older people this paper presents the historical aspect of older people's position within the development of institutional care for older people in Slovenia. The paper attempts to show some characteristics of care in institutions for older people in a historical perspective, considering the introductory description of older people’s position in modern society, some characteristics of the (total) institution and a definition of the specifics of social work with older people. In the past the mission of the social worker in old people's homes was exclusively conceived on the basis of their relationship with the residents. Today, it is the administrative function that is more in the foreground. Regardless of the deviations seen in today's mission of social work as compared to the past, individual work with residents has always been and remains its characteristic today. Social workers help residents adapt to life in the home and the new institutional environment. They ensure that every individual's maximum abilities are considered, help solve the residents' problems, function as mediators in conflicts between the residents, and between the residents and staff. Therefore, social workers are expected to have certain abilities and characteristics and in order to be able to carry out quality work they need to participate in continuing education.