Ageing is what you make of it

Exemplary implementation strategies of research on the subjective experience of aging in the context of retirement and care dependency

Funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation in the program „Blickwechsel – Junge Forscher gestalten neues Alter“ (“Changing Viewpoints – Young Researchers Give Old Age a New Identity”)


Project Description
The project centers around the question how individuals experience their own aging in critical phases of life and how this experience can be shaped by targeted intervention programs. By focussing on the end of employment and the transition into care dependency we chose two exemplary periods of life, in which age-related changes become particularly apparent. Retirement represents the beginning of the active third age, whereas care dependency is an indicator of the vulnerable fourth age.

Based on the current state of research we expect that particularly in these critical phases of life the experience of one’s own aging is “in flux” and differs considerably from previous phases of life. For example, negative age-related changes (meaning developmental losses) might receive stronger attention than existing or newly developed resources. Findings from psychological aging research reveal a relationship of a simplifying view on aging as loss with future negative developments, such as poor physical health and impaired mental health.

Targeted intervention can support a differentiated and realistic understanding of one’s own aging. Therefore, in this project representatives of the field of retirement and geriatric care will be invited to take part in a mutual exchange on individual views on aging, on research findings, and on their possible transfer into praxis. The projected follows an implementation research approach and within focus groups both affected individuals and professionals from the two fields will be consulted. Results of this project might for example have influence on curricula in the fields of human resource management and geriatric care.

This project is affiliated to the project “Awareness of Age-Related Change: A Cross-Cultural Collaboration”.

Project Management and scientific processing
Valerie Elsässer
Martina Miche

Funding period: October 2012 - September 2013

Responsible: Email
Latest Revision: 2012-11-06
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