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  • 1.
    Hammarström, Gunhild
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Torres, Sandra
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Being in need of help and being dependent are two different things: Understandings of dependency and independence among Swedish home-help care recipients2006Ingår i: Abstracts: The Gerontological Society of America 59th Annual Scientific Meeting November 16–20, 2006 Dallas, TX, 2006Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge on elderly people’s understandings of dependence and independence is relatively scarce even though there is plenty of gerontological research on related topics, such as being in need of help and assistance, diminished everyday competence and autonomy. This means that, although we know how to measure different types of dependency (i.e. structural, physical, behavioral etc.), we know, in fact, very little about how elderly people, who are deemed to be dependent by such measurements, define dependency, independence and autonomy. This study focuses therefore on home-help care recipients’ understandings of these constructs in order to shed light on how elderly people that are — according to welfare state policies and home-help care programs — regarded as dependent make sense of their situation. Our findings, which stress the variability of the social construction of dependency and independence that these elders uphold, show how elderly people differentiate between being in need of help and assistance — which is in the literature often equated with being dependent— and being independent and autonomous. Through the separation of aspects of these understandings as antecedents (i.e. the reason why one is in need of help and assistance) and state (i.e. being independent and autonomous), these home-help care recipients are able to disregard their dependency when constructing themselves as autonomous and able selves.

  • 2.
    Torres, Sandra
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Conducting gerontological research with ethnic minorities: Ontological and epistemological standpoints2005Ingår i: Abstracts: The Gerontological Society of America 58th Annual Scientific Meeting November 18–22, 2005 Orlando, 2005Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 3.
    Torres, Sandra
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    The social construction of elderly immigrants in Sweden: Cultural 'otherness' and 'special needs'2005Ingår i: The 5th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology/Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies' 10th Anniversary Conference: Milton Keynes, UK, May 19-21, 2005Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 4.
    Torres, Sandra
    et al.
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Hammarström, Gunhild
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    To age well is not to age at all: Elderly people’s notions of successful aging2006Ingår i: Abstracts: The Gerontological Society of America 59th Annual Scientific Meeting November 16–20, 2006 Dallas, TX, 2006Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Notions of what it means to age well, positively and/or successfully are central to social gerontological research and practice. As such, one would expect that there is consensus as to what successful aging means and/or how it is achieved. The fact of the matter is that we have neither a single definition of this construct upon which we can agree nor do we have enough insight into the meanings that elderly people themselves attach to it. In this study — which aims to shed light on how ‘cognitively healthy’ elders with minor physical health problems handle the transition that being in need of help and support in order to manage everyday life implies — we have explored the meaning that these elders attach to the construct in question. Through content analysis, we show the different themes that our informants brought up in order to explain what successful aging means to them (such as physical and mental health, social relationships and a positive and optimistic approach to life) and the ways in which these themes are interrelated to one another. Our findings suggests that elderly people understandings of successful aging are constituted of two different types of themes (i.e. one having to do with resources and the other with outlook) and that there are notions of continuity that underlie these themes; notions that suggest, in fact, that to age successfully is to not age at all.

  • 5.
    Torres, Sandra
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Lindblom, J.
    Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Migrants in Media Representations of Elder Care: Ambivalent Sentiments2021Ingår i: Life Course Research and Social Politics, ISSN 2211-7776, Vol. 13, s. 163-176Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    International migration and population aging have brought renewed attention to the ethics of care debate and the notion of caring democracy. This discussion problematizes the ways in which different statuses (based on gender, class and/or ethnicity) give people ‘passes’ out of caring responsibilities. This chapter uses this discussion as a backdrop while shedding light on the ways in which migrant status and culture are depicted in Swedish daily newspaper reporting on elder care. Through quantitative and qualitative analyses of all articles published between 1995 and 2017 (n = 370) in two national newspapers, this chapter shows the varying ways in which migration and culture are deployed in these media representations, and how care work is represented as a much needed but highly under-valued activity. Our analyses show that while older migrants are depicted as a burden to the elder care sector, migrant care workers are described as the solution par excellence to the staff crisis that this sector is experiencing, and are, as such, depicted as an asset. By bringing attention to these opposing representations, this chapter questions whether Sweden can be regarded as a caring democracy.

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