Couple in their nineties ‘too healthy’ for nursing home

A 99-year-old Swedish woman and her 97-year-old husband have been denied a place at a local living facility for the elderly.

According to officials with Mjölby municipality in south central Sweden and the county administrative court, the couple are too healthy to move into the facility, Sveriges Radio (SR) reports.

But family members dispute the assessment, arguing the couple’s health has been deteriorating over the past few years.

The woman has been plagued with hip problems, while her husband has trouble keeping his balance.

Relatives have argued that the couple should be allowed to stay in a living facility for the elderly which offers more secure living conditions.

The pair currently live in a detached home where they are offered cleaning assistance every two weeks.

The municipality and the court have concluded that additional home assistance services, as well as access to an emergency alarm system, are sufficient measures to ensure the couple’s well-being.

The chair of Mjölby’s social services board, Sven-Åke Persson, said that the couple would qualify for a place in a living facility for the elderly, but that no places are currently available.

“If we had space in an assisted living facility, we’d offer it to them right away, without any doubts whatsoever. As things stand, we didn’t think the need was so great, and the county administrative court agreed with us, so to speak,” he told SR.

He added that he thinks the municipality’s offer of additional services nevertheless fulfils Mjölby’s promise that “all citizens should have the support they need to live their daily lives”.

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