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Carers in Sweden: the public support they receive, and the support they desire

This article describes and analyses public support for Swedish unpaid carers, now mandated by law, and also the support that they desire, using surveys conducted in 2008, 2009, and later. Few carers helping someone in a different household – the large majority of the carers – received any support aimed directly at them, such as access to support groups, training, relief service, or financial support. Yet, most carers did not desire any support for themselves. They mostly wanted public services for the cared-for person, all of which may also indirectly support carers. Intra-household carers – about a tenth of all carers – have vastly larger care commitments than other carers. Some of them desire support for themselves, usually relief services of financial support. Three out of 10 of these carers used any public support, despite the new (2009) legislation that only a minority of carers know about. There is a wide gap between policies and their implementation, but also some reluctance among carers to use public support for themselves. The relationship between carers and the state is unclear in Sweden and this reflects on the aims and the forms of support. Stereotypes about ‘typical’ carers may have impeded adequate forms of support.

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Journal of Care Services Management

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Social care online
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