Sunday, January 15, 2006

Swedish elderly

The Swedish elderly benefit from what many consider to be the most generous social system in the world. The national pension plan provides a basic pension that is payable regardless of previous working income; a supplementary pension based on income from gainful employment; and a partial pension that allows people between 60 and 65 to combine part-time work with their pension. The health plan for the Swedish elderly is far more sweeping than Medicare. All citizens are entitled to medical care benefits, dental care, hospital care, and related travel. Prescribed drugs can be purchased for greatly reduced prices and in some cases are entirely free. The aged are also entitled to social home help, a service that offers home visits by nurses and aides who come by two or three times a week and do whatever they can to assist the older person. For the elderly who cannot be treated at home, there are long-term care wards, central and local nursing homes, and a semi-outpatient care system known as "day medical care." For the elderly who live in rural areas, the government pays the postal workers to run errands for them, pay bills, or to just stop by and chat.
Green, P. S. "Marquis Childs on Sweden," in Aging, Goldstein, E. C., ed. Vol. 1 Art. 98. Boca Raton, Fl.: Social Issues Resource Series, Inc., 1981.


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