• Sweden's news in English

Laws to aid disabled Swedes 'ignored': report

TT/The Local/dl · 4 May 2011, 08:28

Published: 04 May 2011 08:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In addition to failing to carry out required measures, municipalities also often delay making decisions about requests in order to avoid fines, according to a report by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

Many disabled residents are also subject to degrading treatment due to municipalities' failure to abide by statutes laid out in Sweden's law governing the support and services to be provided to disabled people (lagen om stöd och service till vissa funktionshindrade – LSS).

The law is meant to guarantee people with severe psychological and physical disabilities the right to the assistance they need for daily living and, to the extent possible, allow them to lead lives like anyone else.

In a review carried out last year of 70 facilities across the country, the health board found that many disabled residents were made to wait inappropriately long periods of time for the help to which they had a right, write Håkan Ceder and Per-Anders Sunesson of the National Board of Health and Welfare in an article in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

"There are huge gaps between the law's intentions and the everyday experiences which many with severe disabilities are forced to endure," they write.

Cases cited by Ceder and Sunesson include a man who had his hands tied behind his back for 25 years so he wouldn't injure himself and a 14-year-old autistic boy who was locked in a cell with a concrete floor when he became unruly.

In another case, a woman at a facility for people with psychological disabilities wanted her window open and the heater off in her room during the nights.

Despite personnel requiring winter jackets to visit the woman, they only contacted a doctor when the woman was unresponsive and she eventually froze to death.

The report also found that some individuals were physically restrained by force in violation of the law, a severe violation which often comes about as a result of manpower shortages at the facility, according to the authors.

Other findings in the report indicate there are signs that the facilities are looking increasingly like institutions as group homes have been placed together with other operations, a trend in also directly oppose to the intentions of LSS, according to the authors.

Offerings of activities to help keep residents stimulated are paltry and many disabled residents have been forced to share quarters with more than the three to five residents recommended by the health board.

Story continues below…

In some facilities, up to twelve people are living together in the same group home.

The authors voice fears that the instances of abuse and substandard conditions is more widespread than has been discovered thus far, and argue that the state must take a more active role in strengthening supervision of the facilities.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:05 May 4, 2011 by Nemesis
In Sweden some kommunes are world class examples of how to treat a disabled person.

In other kommunes Sweden is a world class example of how not to treat a disabled person.

The law changed in Europe years ago, to force all shops, pubs, resturants, etc to change their entrances, to ensure that disabled people can enter safely. In most of Sweden that still has not been done.

Disability law is not enforced in Sweden.
10:30 May 4, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
For once, I actually agree with Nemesis.

I've been in contact with LSS in my kommun for 3 years. Lots of meetings, lots of talking but as yet they haven't done a thing to support me.
00:52 May 5, 2011 by technoviking
People don't care until it's them in the wheelchair unfortunately....
Today's headlines
Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected study programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
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
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
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
jobs available