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Anna, 100, 'too healthy' for nursing home spot

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Anna, 100, 'too healthy' for nursing home spot
16:50 CEST+02:00
Swede Anna Lundvall, who turns 101 on Saturday, is incredulous that the municipality in northern Sweden where she has lived for more than a century has told her she is "too healthy" to live in a nursing home.

"It's not fun to have to leave your own home, but when you don't feel safe there, something has to be done," the 100-year-old Lundvall told The Local.

"I can't go out alone. I am more or less confined to a wheelchair, and my hearing is terrible."

Lundvall's voice shakes with a mixture of age and rage as she tells of being "betrayed" by officials at Jokkmokk municipality who recently rejected her application for a permanent place in a nursing home.

"They are so talented and wise that they determined I can manage all on my own," she said.

"But my body is totally worn out."

Lundvall had managed to live independently until April of this year when she fell and broke her ankle.

The fall put her in hospital for nearly two weeks, followed by two weeks at another facility in Jokkmokk, after which she spent about a month in a nursing home while she recovered from her injury.

When she finally returned to her apartment in central Jokkmokk on June 8th after living for two months with constant access to caregivers and health professionals, Lundvall no longer felt safe in her own home.

With the help of her 73-year-old daughter Gudrun Ek, Lundvall applied for a spot in a nursing home, but learned in late August that her application had been denied.

Instead, the centenarian was offered additional home health assistance, a decision that angered Lundvall's daughter, who, despite health problems of her own, makes a point of visiting her mother four times a day.

"It pains me when I come here and see her sitting in her chair asleep. It's not right. They have no compassion," Ek told the local Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD) newspaper.

"If you're 100 years old and have been faithful to the municipality throughout your life, you ought to get something in return in your final days."

Lundvall is also upset that her century as a tax-paying resident of Jokkmokk doesn't seem to count for much.

"I've lived here for all of my 100 years and never asked for help with anything. And now, when I finally need them, they refuse to come through," she saidl.

Despite the setback, Lundvall is nevertheless looking forward to a "modest" 101st birthday celebration this Saturday.

"I'll be at home taking it easy as usual. We'll have some coffee, some cookies and a cake," she told The Local.

"I'm just trying to take things one day at a time."

David Landes

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