• Sweden's news in English

'Don't separate elderly couples': Minister

TT/The Local · 7 Apr 2010, 16:13

Published: 07 Apr 2010 16:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Elderly couples should have the right to live together," Larsson told news agency TT.

As minister with responsibility for elderly care, Larsson said she was tired of councils that shirked their responsibility.

"There have been too many case of late where things haven't worked, which has led to a point that necessitates binding legislation," she said.

"Municipalities need to be obliged to find solutions that match the wishes of elderly people."

The issue has come to the fore after a number of older couples were denied the right to joint municipal care, with councils often citing a lack of space and resources.

In Eskilstuna in central Sweden, for example, Arne and Gunnel Kojefors, 94 and 86, are fighting for the right to continue living together after 63 years under the same roof.

"It seems we can get a home each, so we can visit each other daily. But it's not the same as living together. It should be a human right for a couple to live together for as long as the possibility exists," Arne Kojefors told Aftonbladet.

The council's decision to keep them apart is based on the fact that Arne has been deemed healthy enough to continue living alone with some home help, whereas his wife suffers from senile dementia and requires more comprehensive care, the newspaper reports.

Maria Larsson, the Christian Democrat cabinet minister, stressed that legislation takes some time to prepare and would not be presented prior to this September's general election.

Story continues below…

Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund expressed his intention on Thursday to urge his partners in the governing Alliance to make the joint home care guarantee an election promise.

But Larsson said she didn't see the guarantee as an election issue.

"There's no opposition to the proposal," she said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:07 April 7, 2010 by Nemesis
Splitting couples up in such a manner is inhumane.
17:33 April 7, 2010 by mjennin2
I can't believe it even crossed someone's mind to split people up like this....what are they thinking?? Who cares if Gunnel needs more help than Arne? Clearly she's better off with her lifelong partner at her side still. Although, it kinda reminds me of the movie The Notebook, where the husband actually aggrevated the wife who would become terrified when she relapsed into Alzheimers and didn't remember who the husband was, and it frightened her. Perhaps in rare instances, seperation with very liberal visiting policies might be best. I don't know, sounds cruel to me still.
19:43 April 7, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
What a stupid society this can be.
22:13 April 7, 2010 by wxman
"Elderly couples should have the right to live together." How sick and twisted must a society be for an elected official to fell they must make such a statement?
03:42 April 8, 2010 by zircon
You must be totally absent of basic human rights.
08:35 April 8, 2010 by ameribrit
Unfortunately, this is just the type of incident that the idiots trying to prevent any kind of universal health care system in the US use as proof that the government can not be trusted to look out for the welfare of it's citizens. I have spent a large part of my life working in the health care field and seen many a disturbing sight, but this decision to separate a couple after 63 years is right up there with the worst of them. Just the idea that national level legislation is required to force local authorities to act in a humane way is disturbing on to a degree which is hard to comprehend in this society. I may be ranting at the moment but I am absolutely gob smacked that this has been allowed to occur here in Sweden.
Today's headlines
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available