Age and Ageing

The number and proportion of older adults is increasing rapidly worldwide. In Sweden 2012, there are approximately 1.8 million people who are aged 65 or older. This figure represents 19 per cent of the total population. In the mid-1800s this age group represented 5 per cent of the population, and in the 1960s the figure was 12-13 per cent. This increasing proportion of elderly people in society therefore represents a big challenge for professionals working for maintaining and improving all aspects of quality of life and health for elderly citizens in society. In addition, issues regarding healthy aging, this research group has experience and competence in existential issues, which will enable meaningful research to be undertaken related to this, not only in the elderly population, but as a continual theme throughout the complete lifespan.

Many elderly citizens want to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible and changes in national health policies mean that there is now a move to transfer health care at the later stages of life from formal settings, such as hospitals and other institutions, to informal settings – such as one’s own home. The problems associated with aging (physical, mental, emotional and social factors) can be interpreted within a bio-psychosocial framework. Thus there is a scope to investigate disability, suffering and existential issues within a bio psychosocial framework of well-being.

The research projects in this group are oriented towards health problems that often accompany late life, such as acute disease states, cancer, respiratory diseases, long-term musculoskeletal pain and dementia. Another orientation is the older adults’ experiences of home, health and well-being. This research encompasses the identification of care-related suffering experienced by older adults. The research conducted in this group also includes the existential dimension in life, which is important in supporting experiences of physical, mental, emotional and social well-being in different contexts, such as health care in end of life.