Whose Right to a “Reasonable Level of Living”? Spouses with D ...

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  • Title: Whose Right to a “Reasonable Level of Living”? Spouses with Differing Care Needs in Swedish Nursing Homes
  • Author(s): Cristina Joy Torgé
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Aging and Social Change
  • Keywords: Residential Care, Couple, Cohabitation
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2576-5310 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2576-5329 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v08i01/45-60
  • Citation: Torgé, Cristina Joy . 2018. "Whose Right to a “Reasonable Level of Living”? Spouses with Differing Care Needs in Swedish Nursing Homes." The Journal of Aging and Social Change 8 (1): 45-60. doi:10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v08i01/45-60.
  • Extent: 16 pages

Abstract

In Sweden, eligibility to move to a nursing home is usually based on an individual needs assessment. In 2012, an amendment to the Social Services Act was enacted, giving persons with residential care the right to live with a spouse in the nursing home, even if the spouse is relatively healthy and does not need nursing care. In this article, two contrasting case studies of cohabiting couples are presented. These case studies are based on field observations and qualitative interviews with the couples and staff in two nursing homes in two Swedish municipalities. The article shows that local municipal guidelines, establishing who has the right to help and care, affect the ways that both the staff and the couple talk about the spouse’s rights and roles as a coresident in the nursing home. In the two cases, there were also different staff attitudes about the spouse’s need for support in the role as spousal caregiver.