The withdrawal of the welfare state: elderly care in Sweden in the 1990s
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European Journal of Social Work
In Sweden, clear changes in the care of the elderly have occurred during the 1990s, with fewer people being provided public care, although greater efforts are now directed towards those most in need of help. Elderly people are cared for increasingly in other ways: by the family, by means of market-provided care, and by voluntary and informal means. Differences between municipalities are considerable. A comparative study was conducted in eight Swedish municipalities, four of them characterized by extensive reorganization of home-help services, and the other four constituting a reference group where such changes had not occurred. The aim was to examine processes of setting local priorities and adjustments in a period of marked structural change. Interviews with local politicians, administrators, professionals, and union representatives, and with the elderly themselves, were the main sources of data. The process of determining the extent and content of home care services in the municipalities was found to be a complex process, one involving a number of partly interdependent factors. Restructuring was found to be greatest in the context of a traditionally strong reliance on home-help services, rather than in the context of institutionalized care, where administrative decision-making and a medical and rehabilitative perspective dominated.
- Social Sciences
- ISSN: 1369-1457