At some point over the last 30 years, Swedish society lost its way.
Some kerning of the truth aside — it could have been a baby boom — the building boom was followed by years of unbridled generosity in terms of public aid for the elderly. People in their 80s and 90s became assumed as first line beneficiaries of the nation’s generous welfare state — their progeny fed, sheltered and treated on a par with those younger and significantly younger.
Now, in an era of a rapidly ageing society, officials are scrambling to stem the flow of frail, needy seniors being turned away from private nursing homes and forced to ride out their final years in their own homes. If current trends hold, no government will be able to support the entire elderly population of Sweden in the long run.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the nonprofit Swedish Homes for Needy Homes, to Swedhilden.