Inequality in Living Conditions among Danish State Pensioners

The object of this article is to analyze if and how economic differences between state pensioners manifest as inequalities in actual living conditions among state pensioners. This is analyzed quantitatively using descriptive statistics, and findings are controlled for relevant variables via regression analysis. The data sources are registry data on the gross population of 841,246 Danish state pensioners merged with survey data on 4,800 state pensioners. The analysis of living conditions of the 10 percent with the lowest income and the 10 percent with the highest income in addition to the state pension shows that the low income group is doing worse on all aspects of living conditions: marital status, composition of household, housing, education, well-being, loneliness, unwillingly alone, social relations, health, level of function, evaluation of economy, and deprivations. These findings of inequality are contextualized within the 1980s pension reforms which changed the economic configuration between state pensioners.

Whose Right to a “Reasonable Level of Living”? Spouses with Differing Care Needs in Swedish Nursing Homes

In Sweden, eligibility to move to a nursing home is usually based on an individual needs assessment. In 2012, an amendment to the Social Services Act was enacted, giving persons with residential care the right to live with a spouse in the nursing home, even if the spouse is relatively healthy and does not need nursing care. In this article, two contrasting case studies of cohabiting couples are presented. These case studies are based on field observations and qualitative interviews with the couples and staff in two nursing homes in two Swedish municipalities. The article shows that local municipal guidelines, establishing who has the right to help and care, affect the ways that both the staff and the couple talk about the spouse’s rights and roles as a coresident in the nursing home. In the two cases, there were also different staff attitudes about the spouse’s need for support in the role as spousal caregiver.

Rural Healthy Ageing as Defined and Experienced by Older Australians

The number of older people is increasing worldwide. Rural areas are of particular concern given the high proportion of older people and potential disadvantages associated with ageing in these areas. The subsequent social and economic “panic” has been a catalyst for research and policy focusing on promoting “healthy ageing.” However, a clear definition of healthy ageing does not exist in government policy, the health professions, or the literature. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine how eleven older rural Australians define healthy ageing and what factors facilitate or inhibit this process within their community. The findings show that participants defined healthy ageing as an attitude and sense of autonomy, which were related to connections with people, place, and activity. This study demonstrated the importance of individual community data in defining healthy ageing and the factors affecting it. The findings can be used to ensure that health-related programs, services, and policies are community-based, inclusive of older residents, and targeted to the needs of those they aim to serve.