Go to top
skip to main content

The elderly in Azerbaijan: care and welfare


This study allowed us to draw important conclusions about the care and welfare of the elderly in Azerbaijan. It is a family-centered care regime for the elderly that best fits the values that exist in society and the perceptions that are ingrained in the public consciousness. This care is influenced by the high normality of views on adoptive duty, the type of care that respondents of different ages want in old age, and the distribution of responsibilities of different social actors for the elderly.

The moral responsibility of the younger generation of the family for the welfare of the elderly manifests itself as norms of coexistence, ideals of sacrifice to pay off the debt of adoption. Furthermore,  family care for the elderly is also supported by law. The responses of respondents to the division of responsibilities between the family and state in relation to the elderly suggest that direct care and assistance in various household chores are seen as more of a family responsibility, while welfare is seen as a joint responsibility of the family and state. In other words, the family, as a social institution, does not shy away from the responsibilities of caring for the elderly, but relies on the support of the state in their implementation.

The form of care that respondents desire in old age is also consistent with the aforementioned results of the survey. Therefore, the   majority of them (92.3%) prefer the family model of care and choose to live with their children in old age. There are quite a few that focus on institutional care. (12.3%) The most important result is that the respondents' reluctance to live with other relatives (87.2%) was the same as their reluctance to live in a nursing home (87.1%). These results raise new research questions on the structure of the Azerbaijani family and aspects of family network solidarity. At the same time, family members living in the same household are considered as caregivers. 

A separate analysis of attitudes towards all social actors capable of influencing the well-being of the elderly (family, government, network of friends, neighborhoods, volunteers, charities, private sector) showed that the family and the state take precedence over beliefs and expectations; the realization of charitable societies and voluntary activities requires additional organizational efforts, advocacy.

The fact that 73.8% of respondents agree with the responsibility of the private sector in the field of care for the elderly confirms that it is possible to achieve the development of the relevant sector in the organization of care for the elderly in Azerbaijan by improving legislation, applying benefits to private companies implementing social responsibility projects. Statistical analysis of the answers to the question about day care centers allows us to conclude that the development of this area is promising. Among the necessary benefits for people of retirement age, the most possible benefits are in the health care system, public transport and utilities. One of the main difficulties mentioned by the respondents in terms of infrastructure, which is one of the factors of welfare of the elderly, is the lack of public places (parks, clubs) for leisure of the elderly, and secondly, the lack of roads for the elderly. Among the stereotypes about the elderly, the most problematic are those that reduce their educational opportunities and their chances in the labor market with age. The implementation of innovative measures in these areas can play an exceptional role in promoting the ideology of active aging.

The responses of a special sample (urban youth with higher education) whose results were processed separately showed that this section supports the norms of family care, the ideals of the young generation's moral duty to the elderly. At the same time, they are open to newer, more innovative forms of care and tend to move away from strict norms. They are more sensitive to discrimination against the elderly and infrastructure problems for the elderly. As they get older, they have a more negative attitude towards limited access to education than the general choice. Urban-educated young people, who have the potential to influence new trends in society, are also less likely to agree with the unequivocal gender distribution of care for older family members, thus showing a tendency to approach care as a universal value.