New project about challenges in carer support uptake

Magnus Jegermalm and Joy Torgé at School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University.

Magnus Jegermalm and Joy Torgé at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, have been granted funding from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) for a new research project. The project will investigate the gap between the municipalities' carer support and its low uptake among caregivers.

The background for the project is the increased importance of family- or informal care. This is especially due to changes within old age care and disability care, that prioritize the ones in most need of help.

Even though municipalities have been obligated to offer carer support from 2009, according to the Swedish Social Services Act (Socialtjänstlagen), there is a gap between the legislation's ambition and the actual utilization of carer support. This requires further investigation. Magnus Jegermalm, professor of Social Work, together with Joy Torgé, senior lecturer in Gerontology, has been awarded SEK 4,385,000 from FORTE's program Applied Welfare Research to carry out a three-year project within this field.

"In order to understand the possible gap between relatives’ and professionals’ understandings of carer support, our project aims to investigate different types of family caregivers’, family care consultants’ and needs assessors' experiences of carer support and what these groups regard as carer support", explains Magnus Jegermalm.

The project consists of three parts. The first part is a quantitative study that will be based on a national survey that has been carried out six times since 1992. The second study is a web survey directed at municipalities within Stockholm and Jönköping counties, identifing the kinds of support offered to caregivers for older persons, Finally, a qualitative study will be based on interviews with caregivers, family care consultants and needs assessors.

"This is an interdisciplinary project where the two of us work together to study the same phenomenon from our different traditions within care research. Magnus will contribute with the longitudinal perspective, based on data spanning 27 years. Meanwhile, I will contribute with the individual perspective on caregivers' expectations of carer support, as their experience of support from other persons within their network. The web survey will also provide us with an organisational perspective, to see if the carer support offered corresponds to what the caregivers need", says Joy Torgé.

During the implementation of the project, the researchers will collaborate with the research and development department (Kommunal utveckling) at Region Jönköping county and Ekerö municipality in Stockholm county.

For questions or more information, please contact Magnus Jegermalm,, or Joy Torgé,