Informal care of the elderly in Sweden – Carers’ situation

Björn Albin, Christina Siwertsson, Jan-Olof Svensson

Abstract


Informal care of the elderly (often given by a relative or a spouse) plays an important role in most societies. This article describes the situation and support for carers that exist in Sweden today and how this may develop in the future. The description is partly based on the results from the evaluation of a government supported project (‘Anhörig 300’) aimed to develop support for carers in the county of Kronoberg as well as from information and documents. Four different typical situations for carers are identified and indicate how very different situations for carers can be. During the 21st century the Swedish Government has given great attention to support for carers, mainly through changes in the legislation and through economic grants to the municipalities.

In the future the support for carers must be given even greater attention and be developed further. The National Development Plan for Nursing and Care of the elderly in Sweden, from 2005, suggested increased support for carers as a complement to the public sector elderly care. From 2009 the Social Services Act has been changed in accordance with this plan. A key issue is to involve voluntary organisations to alleviate isolation and loneliness among carers.

An earlier version of the following article was first published in Japanese in Chiiki Fukushi Kenkyu (Studies of Community Welfare), 2008; 36; 72-83. It has since been revised and updated for publication in an English language journal. 


Keywords


carers; older people; elderly people; support for carers; public sector elderly care;

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol23iss1-2id170

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