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Beyond MedicineWhy European Social Democracies Enjoy Better Health Outcomes Than the United States$
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Paul V. Dutton

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501754555

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501754555.001.0001

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After Work in the United States and Sweden

After Work in the United States and Sweden

(p.107) 3 After Work in the United States and Sweden
Beyond Medicine

Paul V. Dutton

Cornell University Press

This chapter investigates the health of the elderly in Sweden and the United States, focusing on populations that are no longer active in the labor force. For most workers in the United States and Europe, the working years are followed by a period of voluntary withdrawal from the labor market. Sweden earned third place on the Global AgeWatch ranking of ninety-six countries. The rating considers health outcomes, income security, financial capability, and an enabling environment in determining the best places to grow old. Meanwhile, the United States ranks ninth. The chapter looks at three social determinants that the World Health Organization has identified as the most important to healthy aging: (1) financial security, including the ability of the elderly to afford appropriate and safe housing, to maintain a nutritious diet, and to benefit from adequate means of transport; (2) social integration, the degree to which elderly people participate in the community, through continued employment, volunteering, or activity in sports, clubs, or other social organizations; and (3) access to preventive and curative health services, including long-term care, and the proximity of these services to the community in which elderly people live.

Keywords:   elderly people, Sweden, United States, World Health Organization, health aging, financial security, social integration, preventive health services, curative health services, long-term care

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