Project STAR - aging without limits / funded by the EFRD

Institute of Anton Trstenjak



Institute of Anton Trstenjak for gerontology and intergenerational cohabitation is a private institution, founded in 1992. Its non-material co-founders are Slovenian Government and The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU).

The mission of the Institute is a scientific and professional development of social, psychological and other anthropological sciences; its theoretical bases and methodical procedures and well as their use in the field of cohabitation of people, of quality aging, prevention and resolving personal and social difficulties, education, shaping and expanding the human being, strengthening the health and social power of individuals, family and other groups and communities.


The Institute deals with scientific and professional interdisciplinary work; involving social work, anthropology, psychology, sociology, medical sciences, pedagogy and andragogy, economy, law, information and other sciences important for the work of the Institute. The public work of the Institute is inter-sectoral; connected with resources of science, family, social protection and work, education, health, culture and other resources relevant for the respective field of work and tasks.

The Institute works with several faculties within the Ljubljana and Maribor universities as well as with several newly founded faculties, institutes, pensioner organizations, intergenerational associations, Caritas and Red cross, as well as with more than ten Slovenian municipalities and nursing homes.

References (some of our realized programs and projects or programs and projects in progress):

  • cities and communities designed for the elderly: coordination of the national network of cities and communities designed for the elderly involving 13 Slovenian cities; regular communication with the World network of cities designed for the elderly at the World health organization;
  • education of volunteers: 4000 trained volunteers, 8000 participants in the groups for a quality aging and partnerships; monthly intervision meetings for volunteers; annual courses of refreshing the knowledge for our longtime volunteers;
  • training program: Let’s acquire the knowledge on blood pressure;
  • training program: Prevention of falling down at the old age;
  • training program: Let’s grow old sober;
  • Growing old without violence: program intended to increase the safety of the elderly;
  • Intergenerational partnership during computing lessons: a student helps an elderly person to acquire basic computer skills;
  • Nitics: an international project of the development of the follow-up of long-distance health measurements;
  • Preparation courses for a quality old age after retirement (e.g. 2015/2016 Triglav Insurance etc.);
  • research Possibilities and potentials of elderly workers;
  • publication of Cicero’s book Cato maior de Senectute: On the old age;
  • journal Quality old age: the only professional journal in the field of gerontology and intergenerational cohabitation: has been published in the last 18 years;
  • Nice to live: 5-level model of prevention of addiction and use of narcotics in elementary schools;
  • Courses for family caretakers: relatives who take care for an elderly disabled person (locations of some of training programs for 2015): Grosuplje, Višnja Gora, Ivančna Gorica, Kočevje, Ljubljana, Loška dolina; Hrvatska – Prelog, Ludbreg).

The Institute works exclusively to offer a direct general benefit. It is non-profitable, gaining funds from contests, donations and market sale of products and services.

Role in the project

Within the project STAR, the Institute of Anton Trstenjak participates in 4 work packages: Management, Communication, Cross-border program of deinstitutionalization of long-term care for the elderly and Education and training for a non-institutional long-term care.
The role of the Institute is seen primarily in the following two work packages:

1. Cross-border program of deinstitutionalization of long-term care for the elderly

The objective of the work package is a creation of Cross-border program of deinstitutionalization of long-term care for the elderly which is to define the shared unique plans about the types and methodologies of non-institutional care in the program area, and consequently, offer concrete solutions for improvement of availability and variety as well as to ensure accessibility and approach to services and programs of public interest.

Within the RP, we have already done a comparative study of analysis of state and possibilities of social protection services for the elderly, including:
– data analysis in two municipalities (Hrpelje-Kozina and Rijeka),
– overview of contemporary types of institutional and non-institutional long-term care in comparative EU countries,
– analysis of needs and developmental possibilities of the system of institutional and non-institutional long-term care in regions of our partners.

December 2016 saw the founding of the Cross-border commission aiming to analyze the mentioned study and to give the proposals and defined solutions to create a cross-border program of development of deinstitutionalization of long-term care. This is to be launched in the first half of 2017. The program objective is to offer concrete solutions for improvement of availability and variety as well as to enable availability and approach to services and programs of long-term care. The program will include an overview of legislation and harmonization therewith, a plan to raise the level of awareness, a deinstitutionalization plan, training and education plan aiming to support deinstitutionalization and management of space for deinstitutionalization purposes.

Institute of Anton Trstenjak will coordinate the mentioned work package. It will also be responsible for creation of the study and the program as well as for founding of the Cross-border professional commission.

2. Education and training for deinstitutionalized long-term care

Within the mentioned work package the Institute will organize a training of family caretakers and volunteers in Hrpelje-Kozina and in Rijeka. The training of family caretakers is to be done aiming to strengthen informal types of long-term care. Namely, it is known that family caretakers are the basis of long-term care and without them national systems of long-term care would collapse in all EU countries. They cover 75% of social care in Europe. Often politics sees them as free assistance and not rarely they are perceived as a group of people with special needs. One of alarming needs is training for provision of quality care to an elderly disabled family member, at the same time taking care of themselves. Support to family caretakers, involving also such courses, is one of the key pillars on which started the construction of deinstitutionalization process.

The next activity of the Institute is volunteer training. The objective is increasing availability of social services to isolated elderly people facing solitude and social exclusion, especially to those at margins. A 10-month course will provide training of around 20 volunteers in Slovenia and 20 in Croatia. Already during the course the volunteers will create groups for quality aging involving the elderly, primarily those with no regular contact with other people.

Furthermore, the Institute of Anton Trstenjak will train 2 network organizers (1 for Hrpelje-Kozina, 1 for Rijeka). They will take care of the development of local network of programs for quality aging in their area. Within the network there are numerous programs for deinstitutionalization support. Besides, network organizers will be trained for management, expansion and development of the network even after the project is realized, which presents an additional value for project sustainability.