On the 6th of October, Nationellt kompetenscentrum anhöriga (The Swedish Family Care Competence Centre) invited to a webinar to celebrate the European Carers Day and raise awareness of carers around Europe.
The attendees got the opportunity to listen to several interesting presentations and discussions. Lena Hallengren, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, began the webinar by talking about the strenuous situation that a lot of carers been facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She
also mentioned the importance of caring being voluntarily and that carers should feel that they can rely on the municipality if they need support or help. Further she outlined the work with a national Carer strategy that is ongoing and the The Swedish Family Care Competence Centre mission to investigate the effect of COVID-19 for carers and the carers support services.
Ulla Lantz then shared her soon twenty years experiences of being a carer for parents, husband and mother in love. She outlined the importance of preventive work and information, education, involvement and support. Elizabeth Hanson, Scientific Leader of Nka and
professor at Linnaeus University, contributed with a European perspective by sharing good examples of carer support from several different EU countries. She mentioned Scotland, which is the most carer friendly country in the whole of Europe, Germany, who has a strong focus on support for working carers, Italy, who is a prime example of a bottom up approach, Slovenia, where the awareness of carers has started to grow, and finally Finland, where carer issues now are on the media and political agendas. Lennart Magnusson, Director of Nka and Associate Professor at Linnaeus University, then presented facts about caring and carers in Sweden.
Four different achievements that Sweden can be proud of were also presented. These were The Health and Medical Service Act with focus on young carers, The Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments, The national dementia strategy,
and Carer Advocacy.
In the end of the webinar a panel discussed what’s left to do and what we in Sweden can do better. Ann-Marie Högberg, Chairman at Carers Sweden, Mikael Nylander, Carer Advocate worker in Danderyd, Stockholm, Anders Henriksson (S), Second Vice President at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Acko Ankarberg Johansson (KD), Chairman at the Committee on Health and Welfare and Mats Ewertzon, Researcher at Nka and Affiliated Researcher at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University, participated in the discussion. The discussion was moderated by Mark Levengood.
We at Nka are hoping that this webinar can help to shed light on carers and their need of support. There’s been great interest in the webinar and almost 500 people (as many as the system allowed) watched the broadcast. The webinar was recorded and will be published on Nka’s website.