For far too long, the left in Sweden has seen work in elderly care as an “easy job” and thus suitable as an integration project.

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson, Sweden Democrats, has grown tired of that.

Together with the party’s social policy spokesperson Linda Lindberg, he writes a column in Expressen where the two point out what they believe is a lack of respect for the elderly in Sweden.

“As a pro-Swedish party, respect for our elderly, those who have helped build our country, is absolutely fundamental. All Swedes should feel secure in having a dignified old age with the right help and support from society after having worked and contributed to our common welfare for a lifetime,” they write.

The two believe that for many years the parties on the left have seen work in elderly care as an “easy job” and thus suitable for integrating and giving people who do not speak Swedish a chance to learn the language at work.

“This attitude goes against everything that care for the elderly should stand for. Elderly care in Sweden primarily exists to provide our citizens with safe and good care and a good life in old age – not to provide work for people who have not adapted to Sweden,” they write.

The importance of speaking fluent Swedish is particularly important in elderly care, for several reasons, the two believe.

“The elderly must be able to understand and be understood by those who are there to support and help. What happens if something goes wrong and someone has to quickly ask for help without being able to fully communicate with those around them? It is also important for relatives to feel confident that the elderly are looked after by staff who can speak Swedish well and understand their needs”, they believe, and add:

“Ultimately, it is the individual’s responsibility to learn Swedish, and if despite good efforts and conditions, they do not do it, they should not continue working with the elderly. It is both a question of respect and the safety of our elderly and, by extension, their relatives. Our elderly and their well-being are too important for us not to dare to make high demands on those who are there to support them.”

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