The Administrative Court of Appeals in Jönkoping in south central Sweden ruled on Wednesday that Gislaved municipality was correct in its decision not to allow Arvid to live with his wife in an elderly care facility.
Arvid is simply too healthy.
While his wife, who is nearly blind, is no longer able to live in the couple’s house, Arvid remains perfectly capable of caring for himself.
The Administrative Court had originally ruled in favour of the couple, finding that they should be allowed to continue to live together in the last years of their lives.
But Gislaved municipality took the case to the appeals court, which overturned the lower court’s decision.
Arvid has no unconditional right to the accommodation allowed by the Administrative Court. The spouses’ connection and need for each others’ company isn’t enough.
The municipality points out as well that they had earlier offered the pair common accommodations and that the invitation still stands.
According to Bengt Persson, head of the local social welfare board, an assisted-living apartment is available, the closest of which is ten kilometres from the couple’s old house. There is also the option of a common apartment near the pair’s home, which offers the extra support needed for the woman.
“The whole picture hasn’t come out,” said Persson on the critique the municipality received from many corners following its handling of the issue.
The reactions have been overwhelmingly negative. Some members of the municipality leadership were threatened and guards were sent it to protect them.