Cash for Care Schemes and Older Migrants: Perspectives from Needs Assessment Practice

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Sandra TORRES , Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Emilia FORSSELL , Dept. of Social Work, Ersta Sköndal University College, Sweden
Anna OLAISON , Dept. of Social and Welfare Studies, Linkoping University, Sweden
The ethnic and cultural diversity of older care recipients around Europe has increased over the past decade posing new challenges to the elderly care sector. In some parts of Europe, requests for cash for care schemes have increased as a result of the fact that the elderly care services that are offered by different welfare states are believed to be ill-equipped to meet the needs that this diversity creates. In this presentation we will explore how care managers who perform needs assessments for elderly care handle increased requests for cash for care schemes from migrant families. This presentation will address how they experience these requests and the challenges that they face when handling them within the course of needs assessment regulations in Sweden. The data is comprised of 12 focus group interviews with 60 needs assessors from seven municipalities in Sweden and 202 case documents (101 concerning cases with older migrants and 101 with older Swedish-born). The material has been analyzed through thematic analysis (focus groups) and content analysis (case documents). The findings show that assessing the needs of older migrants is challenging especially when one is dealing with late-in-life migrants’ requests for cash for care arrangements. The fact that these migrants’ care preferences are very different from the individualist care understandings that lay at the core of needs assessment regulation in Sweden poses numerous challenges to needs assessment practice. The challenges are augmented by the fact that these migrants’ younger relatives lack a foothold in the labor market and regard the formalization of their informal caregiving duties through these schemes as a potential source of income. The presentation will problematize the taken for granted assumptions about care that lay at the core of Swedish need assessment practice and the understandings of filial obligation from which care managers depart.