Demographic change is a defining issue of our time. As the worldwide population ages, the healthcare systems of every country will meet challenges of scale in providing for their elderly.
ACCESS Health International released its much anticipated book Aging with Dignity: Innovation and Challenge in Sweden – The Voice of Care Professionals on July 1. The book is a study in the future of long term care through the lens of the Swedish healthcare system. It is based on a series of interviews ACCESS Health conducted with more than thirty long term care professionals in Sweden. Click here to read through the primary interviews on which the book is based.
If a small, wealthy nation like Sweden, with well developed healthcare and social welfare systems, encounters difficulties adapting to demographic change, so too will other nations. It is our hope that readers of our book will recognize as universal both the challenges and the innovative solutions presented here. Order your copy of the book on Amazon and scroll down to read the full length interviews and case studies on which the book is based.
Chapter One: The Reality of Demographic Change
The opening chapter of Aging with Dignity describes demographic change as a pressing concern for healthcare systems worldwide. It highlights demographic change in Sweden and around the world, especially in fast aging nations such as Italy, Japan, and the United States.
Chapter Two: The Swedish Healthcare System
Chapter two delves deeply into the Swedish healthcare system. While the Swedish healthcare is very comprehensive and high quality, the aging population places novel demands on the system. The ACCESS Health summary of the Swedish Forum for Welfare report formed part of the basis for this chapter.
Chapter Three: A Different Kind of Patient
Chapter three explains what makes elder and long term care unique. Studying the quality and effectiveness of long term care exposes the strengths and weaknesses of any healthcare system as a whole. Some of the greatest strengths of long term care in Sweden are its transparency and accessibility. Its main weakness however, is relatively poor integration of services and data.
Chapter Four: The Importance of Coordinated Care
Chapter four explores the organization of healthcare and long term care services in Sweden. In this chapter, we hear the voice of nurses, doctors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers on how to improve long term care in Sweden. Among the ACCESS Health reports featured are our interviews with Carina Kumlin and Pia Lagerström on coordinating care for the elderly, with Stéphanie Treschow on elder care entrepreneurship, and with Erik Weiman on government efforts to improve long term care. Our five part case study on the integrated elder care company TioHundra is also featured in this chapter.
Chapter Five: Filling the Gaps – Mobile Teams
Chapter five examines innovative services for individuals at home. The chapter describes mobile teams that provide daily care to individuals at home and emergency care as needed. The chapter highlights two ACCESS Health case studies: Lidköping Close Care System and Mobile Teams and The Mobile Emergency Team for the Elderly in Uppsala.
Chapter Six: eHomecare
Our chapter on eHomecare describes a range of new and old technologies used by long term care organizations in Sweden, such as cameras, videoconferencing, and other assistive devices that enable more independent living at home. A series of ACCESS Health publications are featured in the chapter, including:
Chapter Seven: When to Leapfrog: The Case of Estonia
Unique within Aging with Dignity is this chapter, which examines technology platforms used in Estonia to share data between citizens and public authorities. On technology and eHealth, Sweden has much to learn from its neighbor across the Baltic Sea. Our case study on the Estonian eHealth and eGovernance system provided the basis for this chapter, along with our interview with Patrik Sundström on eHealth in Sweden.
Chapter Eight: Dementia Care
Chapter eight provides an in depth look at dementia care and the unique practices being implemented in Sweden. The central themes are person centered care and family involvement. The following ACCESS Health publications are featured in the chapter: