← ESA 2015 homepage

Ageing, Policies and Inequalities


Thu 27. 8.  16:00 - 17:30
room FA 203

Intimacy and obligations in LAT-relationships in Late Life: New Challenges for the Welfare State


Karlsson, Sofie G (1); Espvall, Majen (2)
1: Mid Sweden University, Sweden; 2: Mid Sweden University, Sweden

Demographic and economic trends in the past two decades, with an increased number of older people, market-orientation and cuts in public spending, has dramatically changed the conditions for elder care in Sweden (Sweden has one of the oldest populations in the world; more than 18 percent of the total population is 65 years of age or older). As a consequence of these trends, the boundaries between the areas that are the state’s obligation and responsibility, and those that lie within the personal/social domain have become subject to serious challenge. Within this new political context, the traditionally conservative ideology of a ‘caring society’, where family and other close relations are expected to participate in informal caring relations to a greater extent, regains popularity. Simultaneously, in comparison with previous periods, modern families today are more heterogeneous. People give priority to love and to move in and out of social relations on freer and more reflection-based premises, which means that the norms relating to responsibilities for giving care and support are currently under challenge. These tendencies also include the elderly who increasingly prefer to live in LAT-relationships. In this presentation we discuss the issue of care and support exchange in LAT-relationships among elderly living in Sweden.