Sweden: No. 1 for treatment of the elderly

Innovation in elderly care is seen in many countries around the world. Sweden is one country displaying a variety of initiatives to assist the care of the elderly and as such was ranked number one for the treatment of the elderly in a 2013 UN report (BBC News 2013). Swedish Care International (SCI) is at the head of care in Sweden and among other enterprises, has developed a model for nursing homes that sets the international standard.

Vigs Angar is an example of an SCI nursing home and epitomises their ethos of care. The nursing home itself looks like a country farmhouse (SCI 2014). It features a large garden which allows the elderly to take part in gardening activities to provide a practical and social activity that can help to reduce dementia.

vigs-angar-gardenImage 1: Vigs Angar Garden  (SCI 2014)

The interior of the home features harmonious colours in browns and reds and has homely features such as candles and a cosy living room to make the residents feel as comfortable as they would be in their own home (SCI 2014).

interiorImage 2: Vigs Angar Interior (SCI 2014)

All of this contributes to the emotional well-being of the residents as they state that they feel as though they are coming to a family, contributing to their sense of belonging. This also ensures the nurses at the home experience a calm and friendly working environment which allows them to provide a high level of care for the patients (Adler et al 2013).

The nursing homes are as much about the concept and ethos as they are about the practical space that the residents live in. The SCI model has a holistic view of the patients, incorporating their physical, psychological, spiritual, social and cultural needs in the design of the building and services (Adler et al 2013). This is to encourage the nurses to ‘see the human behind the person’ so that each patient is treated with dignity and is respected regardless of their age (SCI 2014). The residents are consulted regarding all decisions including the budget, environment, facilities and menu. By allowing the residents to contribute to their lifestyle rather than just relying on the the institution or family members, they maintain a sense of dignity and improve their mental health as their worth is not diminished (SCI 2014).


Image 2: showing the vicious circle nursing homes can fall into. (Alder et al 2013)

Overall, the innovation of this model lies in the organisation processes and training of its staff to combat loneliness, helplessness and boredom often felt by the elderly. The stakeholder community that is built through the SCI model is unique and ensures that the elderly continue to maintain their quality of life and sense of self.


Adler, N. et al 2013, SCI Model For Elderly Care, Swedish Care International, Sweden

BBC News 2013, Sweden ranked first for treatment of elderly in UN report, UK, viewed 3 November 2016, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-24346962&gt;

SCI 2014, Swedish Nursing Home Model, video recording, Vimeo, viewed 3 November 2016, <https://vimeo.com/107564712&gt;


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Posted in B: Aging Best Practices, Uncategorized

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