International Journal of Integrated Care, 22 June 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Keynote abstract
Population development and the need for housing for elderly people in Sweden
Barbro Westerholm, Prof., Emerita, Member of Swedish Parliament, Chairperson Elderly Housing Delegation, Stockholm, Sweden
Correspondence to: Barbro Westerholm, E-mail:

Introduction: The need for housing adapted to the needs of elderly people will increase during the forthcoming years due to the increase of the proportion of elderly people from 2020 and onwards. This need cannot be resolved by means of a single limited initiative.

Description of situation: Most elderly people live in houses, farms and apartments which have to be adapted to disabilities. There is an increasing interest in senior housing which is intended for people over a certain age. For very old and frail people who feel anxious and insecure in their present accommodation ask for a new type of housing—sheltered housing. Here, the residents should have access to communal premises with the option of meals, staff and activities. There is a lack of residential care homes. This is a form of housing for elderly people who live there permanently and suffer from dementia or multiple illnesses. They are in need of social and health care round the clock.

Conclusion: The interplay between the design of the physical environment and social and medical thinking in health and social care for the elderly needs to be improved and more interdisciplinary research on housing for the elderly has to be initiated.

housing; elderly