Russia has almost 30 million elderly people, that is, virtually one fifth of the country's population. 12.5 mln people out of them are over 70 and 5.3 million are disabled. About 20,000 are long-livers who are already over 100. These figures were cited in an interview with the governmental Rossiyskaya Gazeta by Deputy Prime Minister Galina Karelova on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly Persons.
In recent years, the country has witnessed a drastic increase in the number of social services institutions, she said. At present they comprise over 1,200 in-patient institutions and almost 2,000 centers for temporary stay.
Now large institutions for 100-200 people are being replaced by small ones, where 10-15 veterans can live. As a rule, this applies to the countryside. Such social centers "have their own plot of land, a small garden, a kitchen-garden, and this creates a different, more relaxed and genial atmosphere," Karelova explained.
In connection with the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the former USSR's victory in the war against the fascist Germany, the government has adopted a three-year plan of improving the social and economic position of disabled and veterans of the war, she announced.
They have the right to receive both retirement and disability pensions, Karelova recalled. Consequently, war invalids receive 3,402 roubles monthly, war veterans 3,321 roubles, she pointed out ($1 equals approximately 30 roubles). Moreover, the state provides individual subsidies to these groups of veterans. This year such subsidies have been paid to participants of two large battles of World War II, the Stalingrad and Kursk battles, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister said.