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Independence as a stigmatizing value for older people considering relocation to a residential home

  • Maria Söderberg
  • Agneta Ståhl
  • Ulla Melin Emilsson
Publiceringsår: 2013
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 391-406
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European Journal of Social Work
Volym: 16
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Routledge Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

Based on older people’s perspective, the aim of this article is to reveal how the culture of independence influences the decision-making process preceding relocation to a residential home. Since there is a predominant ideology of ageing in place in Sweden like in many other welfare states, the focus is on how a continued life in ordinary housing is justified versus how relocation to a residential home is excused. 21 older people have been included in open semi-structured interviews and in follow-up contacts. The findings show that the value of independence, originally intended to protect the position of older people, in practice lead to stigmatizing processes. In order to bridge the gap between values and declining capacities; expectations and actions, the older people develop individual-oriented, family-oriented, and public-oriented justifications and excuses, so called ‘accounts’.


  • Social Work
  • older people
  • relocation
  • residential home
  • independence
  • stigma


  • ISSN: 1369-1457
Ulla Melin Emilsson
E-post: ulla [dot] melin_emilsson [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se



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