The Elderly - Suffering in Romania

Transition to a free market economy has left Romania a staggering 8 times poorer than 10 years ago with 44% of Romanians living in poverty. According to a report released by the European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes, Romania has currently a major shortage of institutionalised services. Home care is the most commonly used care option for dependent elderly people because of the comfort the family provides and the reduced costs as compared to institutionalised care. This, however, raises many problems. Today, many years after the fall of Communism, Romania’s infrastructure is still lacking the basic needs in many villages. The elderly often live without electricity, clean water, and proper sanitation. In desperate cases, they end up living on the streets. The elderly in Romania who find themselves homeless are usually either widowed, abandoned by family, or stuck in a cycle of poverty they cannot escape due to advanced age, poor health, or other circumstances.