Educating Together, Caring Together: A Fresh Perspective on Home Care in Slovenia

Educating Together, Caring Together: A Fresh Perspective on Home Care in Slovenia

An article by Marija Milavec-Kapun, Matic Kavčič

Social home care and community health nursing are integral pillars of Slovenia current long-term care system at home. Anticipated to come into force in 2024 and 2025, the Long Term Care Act seeks to redefine the landscape. Presently, services provided in the health and social sectors provide care to elderly individuals residing in their own homes, requiring assistance and healthcare support. This service framework empowers individuals to continue residing in their homes, preserving their independence and mitigating the need for institutionalised care. In Slovenia, social home care and community health nursing services are under the jurisdiction of municipalities, which grant concessions for the provision of these services.


Social home care services encompass a range of assistance, including help with activities of daily living, household support, and assistance in maintaining social connections. Municipalities co-finance social home care services to make them as accessible as possible to residents, contributing on average over 70% of the total costs. In 2021, these services reached 12,921 users across 211 Slovenian municipalities, facilitated by 76 distinct organisations, primarily nursing homes, involving 1,137 direct service providers.


Data from 2021 reveals that at least 818 social home care users also need community health nursing services, underscoring the pressing need for enhanced coordination between these two care service sectors.

The fundamental concept of community health nursing is to provide care to individuals and families in specific geographical areas at all stages of life. The cost of these services is fully covered by the compulsory national health insurance scheme. Community health nurses play an essential role in providing both curative and preventive services to a wide range of patients in their own homes. They respond to the needs of both individuals and their families. During curative home visits, nurses monitor patients’ health and provide preventive and curative interventions as required. In 2021, the community health nursing sector in Slovenia employed 893 health care professionals, mainly registered nurses who carried out over 1.2 million home visits, the majority of which were curative home visits (86.6%). This highlights the importance of an approach that combines curative care and prevention to maintain people’s health and well-being, especially when they are experiencing health problems.


Social home care and community health nursing are constantly evolving to meet the expanding demands of the elderly population and other groups needing support within their home environment. Effective collaboration between different professionals and service providers is essential to facilitate this evolution and to achieve better integrated care, which in turn can provide valuable support to patients and their families to improve their health and well-being. Joint training and lifelong learning opportunities could enhance collaboration. These initiatives will be supported by the Regional Vocational Excellence Hub (RVEH), a forthcoming project within EUVECA. The RVEH aims to improve the expertise of different care providers.

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The sustainability of the European health care sector has been challenged by 6 mega trends over the last several years. To respond to these trends and achieve maximum care quality, patient safety, efficiency, and economic sustainability, the sector has undergone major changes:   

(i) Increased digitalization  

(ii) A shift towards patient-centered care 

(iii) Greater patient involvement in in co-designing care pathways