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Swedish welfare work comes under the microscope

What do older people think of the concept of accepting help in their own homes from municipal home-care services? How does the Swedish model for elderly care really work in practice? Will the voice of older people be heard when decisions are being made about the scope and extent of involvement and investment in elderly care? And how do older persons perceive the help they will actually receive?

In several European countries, decisions about home-care services for older people are taken via a care management model. Needs assessment via care management has been perceived as a me¬ans of allocating, reining in and saving society's limited resources.

In this research project carried out by Professor Elisabet Cedersund at the School of Health Sciences, Jönköping, the work to assess the needs of older people in the matter of society's involvement in the form of elderly care has become the subject of a thorough and detailed investigation.

The assessment processes, in which older persons, their families and those responsible for evaluating municipal needs participated, have been studied in great detail. The result shows that older persons as well as their families have different ways of presenting their opinions and aspirations with regard to the home-care services for which they are applying. The analyses of how older persons and their families perceive their need for home care revealed that there are three different perspectives on home-care services - home care is regarded either as an intrusion, as a complement or as a right.

Home care as an intrusion was described by older people as a step in a new phase in life; a phase involving physical debilitation, ultimately leading to death. Home care as a complement was seen as a means of support to manage everyday life. Finally, home care perceived as a right was based on their understanding that they had been law-abiding taxpayers who were therefore entitled to assistance in their homes based on their individual needs.

Read more about Elisabet Cedersund's research
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For further information, please contact:
Elisabet Cedersund, mobile: +46 (0)70-682 73 00
The study was a joint project conducted together with Anna Olaison, PhD.
The School of Health Sciences is one of four schools within Jönköping University. The School is one of Sweden's leading educators in health, care and social work. Research is conducted within three research areas: Ageing - Living Conditions and Health; Quality Improvements, Innovations and Leadership; and CHILD. The School of Health Sciences has some 2,000 registered students, some 160 employees and a turnover of approximately SEK 165 millions.

Marie Olofsson | idw
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