Aušra Kavaliauskienė, Ilona Skridlaitė
Many countries encounter a demographic change where the numer of elderly people will increase. As a result, the number of very old people needing various services . The population in Lithuanian rural areas (communities) is ageing very fast.The need of various services in local community is increasing by ageing population . Public Service, as defined in the Law on Public Administration of the Republic of Lithuania, encompasses all the activities of legal persons, controlled by the state or municipalities, when providing social services for persons, as well as services in the spheres of education, science, culture, sports and other services provided for by laws. Other people may also provide public services in the cases and in the manner provided for by law . The research reveals that elderly people are experiencing social exclusion (isolation). The social policy has important role that lead to the development of supportive infrastructure, community engagement and intimate relationships that reduce feelings of exclusion . The first stage of creation of supportive public services infrastructure is the determination of service accessibility. It is important to clarify the main factors influencing the accessibility of services. The aim of this article is to reveal the accessibility of public services in rural areas for elderly people. By using qualitative research method there was analized the accessibility of these public services: social services, transport services and health services. By the research was discovered that the accessibility of public services to elderly people in rural areas restrains objective (health problems, lack of needed services, lack of money for needed services, access to public transport, living in disadvantaged rural area) and subjective (various fears, lack of knowledge about possible help, resistance to ask for help) factors. The accessibility of public services for elderly people in rural areas facilitates informal support of neighbours and relative (children), informal voluntary support of specialists. The elderly people were wanting and very motivated to take care about themselfs. This factor also facilitate the accessibility of public services.
Keyword(s): old people, rural area, public servicives, the accessibility
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