– The research programme involves the entire ageing process from working conditions of the elderly and their departure from the job market, to the need for aid and service among the very old, explains Björn Halleröd.
– This further emphasises that researchers at Umeå University are enormously prominent within their fields. Within a short period the university has received three large funding grants dealing with ageing research. First, a Linnaeus grant for the project “The ageing population and changing living conditions”, followed by a FAS Centre funding for global health research, and now this one, says Göran Sandberg, Umeå University Vice-Chancellor.
The research group has previously carried out an exceptionally extensive examination of elderly living conditions. The new research programme is based on this knowledge and will access the unique data they have systematically built up during a succession of years.
– Sweden has a strong similarity with many areas of the world in regards to having a rapidly ageing population and the challenges for the future are tremendous. The overall purpose with the research programme is to obtain the knowledge that gives us improved chances to meet these challenges, says Björn Halleröd.
Some of the key questions that will be addressed include if it’s possible to persuade older persons to remain in the workforce longer in life? Can the elderly continue to work, will they continue to work, will employers have an older labour force or will they have a renewal of their workforce? Another central issue concerns which expectations we have regarding health-related issues among oldest persons. Will the elderly become healthier or will the rising life expectancy lead to increased health problems and growing health care needs?
– An important starting point for the research is that the elderly cannot be regarded as a homogeneous group. There are large differences pertaining to finances, health, social relations and much more among the older generation. A primary task for the future is to better understand the causes behind these differences, the consequences and how we can prevent the marginalisation of older groups of people, explains Björn Halleröd.
Press photos of Björn Halleröd in high resolution available at:
The research project is included in Umeå University’s “Areas of Excellence”, Social Welfare Research