Advice to those over 70 years old

Here follows advice for the elderly about the spread of infection, available support and healthcare rights.

Seek medical care if you need urgent help

It is important that those who need medical care for severe and acute conditions do not avoid seeking help due to fear of Covid-19. In an emergency, call 112. If you have any questions about non-acute symptoms and medical care, call 1177. More information can be found at the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

Avoid social contacts if you are over 70 years old

Advanced age is the foremost risk factor for developing severe symptoms in case of infection with Covid-19. Therefore, if you are older than 70 years, you are encouraged to do the following:
• Limit close contact with others.
• Avoid places where large numbers of people gather, for example shops or public transport.
• Maintain contact with your nearest and dearest via telephone or computer.
• Walk outdoors.
• Ask for assistance with food shopping and performing errands. Contact your municipality if you do not have anyone who can help you. The Swedish eHealth Agency (eHälsomyndigheten) provides information about which rules apply to collecting prescribed medicines from pharmacies on someone else's behalf.
More information for those over 70 years old

Ban on visiting care homes for the elderly

The Government has imposed a ban on visiting all of the nation's care homes for the elderly to prevent the spread of the disease Covid-19. Exemptions from the ban may be granted in individual cases if there are exceptional circumstances and if there is a low risk of spreading Covid-19.

Get help and support

If you need assistance with shopping for food or collecting prescription medicines, you should contact your municipality. Around half of municipalities in Sweden are collaborating with the Voluntary Resource Group (Frivillig resursgrupp, FRG), which consists of voluntary defence organisations that support municipalities with shopping for food for risk groups.

The Red Cross, Save the Children, City Missions, the Church of Sweden and the Swedish Sports Confederation are able to help those municipalities in which there is no FRG. Several municipalities have adopted other solutions. Call or e-mail your municipality to find out more about how you can get help.

On the website Mission Mental Health (Uppdragpsykiskhälsa), you can find comprehensive information about support and resources for the elderly.

Age does not determine the right to care

In view of the debate that has been pursued in the media about elderly people not being offered intensive care, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has clarified that this is not the case. The national principles for prioritising intensive care resources stipulate that everyone has an equal right to care, regardless of age; a long-established right that has been enshrined in law.

Your healthcare rights

At you can read about how to seek medical care, which laws and regulations apply, which fees you may need to pay and the rights you have. More information about Swedish healthcare here

If you are not satisfied with the medical care you received, you should first contact the clinic you have had contact with. There is also a Patient Advisory Committee in each region that will help you if you are dissatisfied with your care. The Patient Advisory Committee can, for example, help you make contact with the responsible healthcare personnel. Contact your region to find out more.