Democratic forum on assessing eligibility for long-term care
In September 2020, the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Informatics in cooperation with Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, organised a democratic forum on the eligibility assessment for long-term care as part of the project on evaluation of long-term care. The members of the project group are testing a new assessment instrument and new criteria for eligibility for long-term care in Slovenia, as defined in the proposal of the new Long-Term Care Act (currently under public discussion). The new act anticipates the assessment of eligibility in eight modules (mobility, cognitive and communicative skills, behaviour and mental health, self-care, ability to cope with illness/therapy related demands and burdens, coping with everyday life and social contacts, activities outside the home, housekeeping). Persons who reach a predetermined threshold or a sufficiently high score are entitled to long-term care services or benefits under the new legislation.
The new assessment method is currently being tested in three pilot sites (Krško, Dravograd and Celje) and the assessors in the pilot sites were the main discussants in the democratic forum. The forum was very innovative in two respects: as a research method rarely used in Slovenia, the main purpose of which is to discuss arguments and seek consensus among the discussion partners, and due to the discussion topic itself, which is new and established by the new legislation on long-term care.
The event, moderated by Vesna Dolničar, PhD, was co-organised by the following experts: Mateja Nagode (Social Protection Institute of RS), Lea Lebar (UL FSS CSI), Polona Dremelj, PhD (Social Protection Institute of RS), Jasmina Rosič (Social Protection Institute of RS ), Andreja Črnak Meglič, PhD, (Social Protection Institute of RS) and Urša Medved (Social Protection Institute of RS). The goal was to reach a consensus between the discussion partners in understanding individual assessment indicators and the evaluation process. The results will be used for policy recommendations for the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia, which is the contractor of the evaluation.