Security and presence in elderly care

Health and social care of elderly women and men is a central part of welfare policy and affects many people.

Woman and elderly man having a conversation
“Many elderly people are well-off and have a good standard of living, but there are also large failings with regard to health and social care. The Government will therefore produce a long-term quality plan for elderly care during this electoral period,” says Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér. In the photo, Åsa Regnér speaks to Åke Larsson at the Hälleborg home for the elderly in Västerås. Photo: Sören Andersson/Government Offices

The population in Sweden is growing older

The population in Sweden is growing older. Today, Sweden has one of the world's oldest populations. The increase in the number of people over the age of 80 will become even more marked in coming years.

Life expectancy differs between women and men. There are also geographical differences. Because the number of elderly people varies greatly throughout the country, the need for elderly care also varies greatly.

Differences in life expectancy between women and men mean that there is a greater risk of women of advanced ages living alone for several years. This implies a greater risk of economic vulnerability and a greater risk of a high degree of dependency on help from public elderly care.

More employees provide better quality and effectiveness

By increasing staff supply in elderly care, municipalities can influence quality and effectiveness in elderly care.

Increased staffing levels in elderly care can create scope for staff to spend more time with the individual, which can help to prevent mental illness, break isolation and increase the quality of meals, for example.

It can also provide greater opportunities for staff to help develop activities jointly and it can be important for preventing mental illness, breaking isolation or increasing quality and well-being in connection with important meals, for example, and for improving the working environment of staff.

National quality plan for equitable and gender-equal elderly care

A national inquiry chair has been tasked with developing a long-term national quality plan for elderly care. The plan will strengthen the development of equitable and gender-equal elderly care and ensure long-term quality and enhanced effectiveness in strategically important areas. The starting points of the work are social equality, gender equality, security, participation and influence.

National strategy on dementia

The National Board of Health and Welfare has been tasked with implementing a project via a national coordination function to submit comprehensive background material both for a broad national strategy on dementia, and for a plan for prioritised measures in the area for periods until 2022.

SEK 2 billion annually to increase quality in elderly care

The Government is allocating SEK 2 billion annually in 2016–2018 to increase quality in elderly care.

Government aims in elderly policy

- create a national quality plan for elderly care
- increase staffing levels in care services
- strengthen knowledge and competence in elderly care
- strengthen rights and support to people with dementia
- work preventatively against fall injuries
- support investment in housing for elderly people.

(from Budget Bill for 2016, expenditure area 9, 7.8.1 Elderly care)