In honor of World Physical Therapy Day which is observed on September 8 to raise awareness of the crucial work which physiotherapists do in society, our colleague at Business Growth, Anukriti Banerjee interviewed Patrik Döl, a physiotherapist and the Head of Operations at Villa Basilika. Here she recounts what she learned from the experience.
Swedish healthcare, specifically elderly and dementia-care, is top-ranked globally. A welfare state, healthcare in Sweden is largely funded with tax money. In 2016, the average out-of-pocket health spending per capita was $821 in Sweden. In comparison, it was $1013 in the United States and $2326 in Switzerland (Peterson-Kaiser Health Systems Tracker). Since 2018, the government has also adopted a national strategy for dementia care. The strategy identifies seven key areas that need to be secured in order to deliver comprehensive, high-quality care for people living with dementia and support their caregivers.
However, what makes care so special in Sweden is not just the economic and social structures put in place by the government to support the elderly. It is also the professionals working in the field who go to great lengths to ensure that people in need of support and assistance receive it in the best way possible. They understand that like any other service, good care cannot be provided only through goodwill. It needs to come from people who carry the knowledge to understand individual needs and are equipped with the right tools to address any kind of situation, as is the case in any other profession.
This Swedish mindset was highlighted when the municipality of Tyresö decided to train and certify all of its employees in Silviahemmet’s dementia care philosophy. This means that all permanent employees working in elderly care in Tyresö have had specialized education in dementia from Stiftelesen Silviahemmet. While Silvia-certified individuals and institutions are spread throughout the country, Tyresö is the first and the only municipality in Sweden to have achieved this incredible feat.
To understand how this has impacted the lives of the people who live in Tyresö, I interviewed Patrik Döl, who is the Head of Operations at Villa Basilika a care home for people living with dementia. Located in a quiet residential area, about 15 minutes from Tyresö Center, Villa Basilika is one of Vardaga’s homes in the area, designed to be dementia-friendly. The residents are people living with different stages of the disease.