Population aging is becoming an inevitable phenomenon in Albanian post-socialist society, posing multi-faceted challenges to its individuals, families and society as a whole. Since 1991, the Albanian population has been exposed to intensive demographic changes caused by unintended aspects of socio-economic transition from a planned socialist economy to a market-oriented capitalist one (Hoff, 2008). Ongoing processes of re-organization of social institutions increased its socio-economic insecurity leading to the application of various coping mechanisms. While adjusting themselves to other aspects of life, people changed their decisions of having children and leaving the country (Hoff, 2008). On the other hand, replacement of former traditional extended family forms with diverse living arrangements and family structures has been the outcome of the combination of three factors: falling fertility, increasing life expectancy and increasing migration (INSTAT, 2014).
However, family remains the basic social unit that provides support, care and protection for its old members even though its capacities are diminishing. Family Life Cycle Theory views family development as a series of stages where family members deal with various developmental tasks and play different roles as they move from one stage to another.
This paper examines population aging in Albanian post-socialist society (after 1990). Based on Family Life Cycle Theory and Family Development Theory, it reviews literature and uses secondary data to discuss its implications for elderly care and family life. It concludes that population aging requires better understanding of this process in order to facilitate a series of family adaptations to respond to the changing needs of its elderly members.