Old Age in Communist Poland: Preliminary Research Questions

Dariusz Jarosz
2014 Acta Poloniae Historica  
The article attempts at determining the most important factors shaping the social situation of aged people in Poland in the period 1945-89, seeking to describe, in vast amounts of detail, the demographic diversity (size of population concerned, gender categorisation, numerical amounts by age), residence (urban or rural region) as well as living conditions, health, and education status of the population concerned. Research has shown that the social security system in force played an increasing
more » ... le in the shaping of the material situation of the elderly: in 1989 some 50 per cent retirement-aged people took advantage of its offer. That this system remained the basis for livelihoods of a defi nite majority of aged people in the 1980s primarily ensued from the extension of the farmer's retirement and disability pension system. Nonetheless, a considerable group of elderly people (amounting to several dozen per cent, though estimates vary) received income below the minimum subsistence fi gure until the end of 1989 -thus remaining condemned to poverty and the need to seek for other, extra sources of income, such as assistance from family or acquaintances, gainful labour, and/or social protection.
doi:10.12775/aph.2014.110.04 fatcat:7objqe633ffjnku33vqvu4o6fy