Social work for older immigrants

Topics: Sociology, Sweden, Social work, Elderly care, Geriatrics, Old age / Pages: 13 (3237 words) / Published: Nov 7th, 2013
Sweden is one of the European countries, which has successively changed from a mainly ethnically homogeneous society into a multi-ethnic society due to international migration. Meanwhile, the issue of population aging are challenging social work practice in Sweden. This article gives an insight into social work for elder immigrants in Sweden, who are vulnerable because of previous events, cultural differences and communication difficulties. An interview case is introduced at the beginning to elicit some worrying conditions as well as municipal governments’ role in the Swedish welfare state which has formal responsibility to this disadvantaged group. The article is also in attempt to discover the strengths and weakness of social work services for this disadvantaged group, which aims to arouse more social workers and the government to become aware of the implications that how elder care is planned and provided for these specific populations.

Keywords: Elder immigrants; Social work; Sweden; Elderly care

Introduction

Sweden has a relatively high level of immigration, with about 203 nationalities represented among its 9.5 million people. In 2010, 19.1 percent of residents had their roots outside Sweden. (Sweden.se, 2012) That means Sweden has successively changed from a mainly ethnically homogeneous society into a multi-ethnic society. And immigrants are more and more important in the Sweden society, and become a part of the citizen that we cannot ignore. What is more, of Sweden’s 9.5 million inhabitants, 18 percent have passed the retirement age of 65. (Sweden.se, 2012) , which indicates elderly care is also a huge matter for social work and a challenge for the future.Among the immigrants and the elderly in Sweden, there is a specific and special group, which makes up 11% of the total elderly population in Sweden and 1.98% of all residents. According to data, a little less than 195,000 people of the 65+ years old population are foreign-born

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