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Good personal finances or a strong social capital – on different life conditions of importance for an active life when becoming alone in old age.

  • Ulla Melin Emilsson
  • Agneta Ståhl
Publiceringsår: 2016-09-02
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 749-763
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European Journal of Social Work
Volym: 19
Nummer: 5
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Routledge Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

Becoming alone in old age can be a decisive life event that brings major changes depending on various causes as health status, financial resources, family situation, and available welfare services. This article discusses the situation of older people in Sweden who have transitioned from a two-person to single-person household in recent years and what impact this might have on their everyday lives. Through in-depth interviews with 18 older people, age 67–90, their experiences about life conditions and opportunities were examined. Findings showed large differences between the men and women. They all tried to live as they always had done and they used the same personal life strategies that they always had. But the men could live as before on their own financial merits, while the women needed assistance from children, grandchildren and the welfare system. Transportation options were central and clearly related to both private economy and social services available. Shortcomings in the welfare state's way of caring for the elderly were clearly uncovered. The gap between social policy promises of opportunities for autonomy and independence to live an active life in old age and the everyday reality for older people still seems to be wide.


  • Social Work
  • active life
  • financial conditions
  • pension
  • widow
  • widower


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



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