In the neoliberal era, privatization and internationalization are of crucial importance to conditions for eldercare in the European Union (EU),including Sweden, which has one of the highest rates of public provisionin Europe. Swedish retirees are part of a growing stream of older Northern Europeans who migrate to Southern Europe, especially to coastal areas in Spain. There are about 90,000 Swedish citizens living in Spain (Hedlund 2011). During the retirement life course phase, circumstances change, highlighting that retirement is dynamic rather than one distinctive phase. When Swedish retirees in Spain become increasingly in need of eldercare, they find themselves in a country with one of the lowest rates of public provision in Europe, and are left with a patchwork of private solutions. The pieces in the ‘elderly care puzzles’ (Szebehely 2004) that form the patchwork of care around older persons depend on the accessibility and aﬀordability of a number of options: public/private provision, social/volunteer networks, family situation, as well as the preferences and conditions of diﬀerent groups of older persons. Gender, health,socio-economic conditions, as well as Swedish and Spanish provision of health- and eldercare inﬂuence the mobility of international retirement migrants (IRMs), especially in the case of widows and single women with low income. This chapter discusses the conditions for mobility and independent aging in relation to a wide range of Swedish IRMs in Spain. We illuminate the mobility of IRMs as Europeans in the context of Freedom of Movement, and its limits. Below we outline the welfare and migration context of Swedish retirement migration to Spain. Subsequently, we analyze the economic, gendered and health factors that circumscribe themobility and immobility of diﬀerent IRMs.
London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 237-259 p.