Aging in Moldova: A Country With Orphan Older Adults
Tatiana Cojocari, Radu Cupcea | The Gerontologist | 21.06.2018
The Republic of Moldova is now facing one of the most difficult periods in the 26 years of its independence as a democratic country. The crisis in the financial system that started in 2014 has gradually spread to all other areas of the state, and with a lack of solutions proposed by the government to improve quality of life, there is apathy and indifference among the country’s population regarding internal sociopolitical problems. These issues have directly impacted the country’s demography, leading to significant changes in the population. In 2014, the proportion of people aged 60 and older was 17.4%, almost equal to the proportion of young people aged 0–14 years, which was 18.2%; these numbers suggest that the future does not look good for the work force. Older adults from Moldova are the poorest age group in the EU, and their life expectancy is comparable to that in the EU at the beginning of the 1990s. The deficit in the social security budget has directly affected pensioners’ well-being. Topics such as active ageing, stigmatization, abuse and violence against old people, and older adults’ quality of life are absent from the political agenda, while the issue of Moldovan migrants and their pension rights has yet to be addressed by legislation. The phenomenon of “ghost villages” is spreading. Soon, Moldova faces the risk of becoming a ghost country of orphan older adults, left behind without support of younger family members who have migrated elsewhere for a better life.