Older people have a lot to offer. Their wealth of experience, knowledge, and emotional maturity can contribute much to our society. At the same time, ageing is related to biological changes that require adaptations of individuals and society to let older citizens thrive. One thing is certain: How we age is not destiny. People can actively shape the course of their ageing, and societies and institutions can actively shape the environments that allow people to thrive throughout their whole lives. As a result, people differ widely in their development throughout life. We can especially learn from those who are ageing most gracefully and retain their abilities into old age.
At the faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences we unravel the ageing process at different levels with a clear focus on the majority of the population that does not struggle with age-related disease. At the basic level, we seek to understand how ageing affects brain structure, cognition and emotions in those people who remain relatively healthy until old age. These basic structural and functional changes at the individual level have implications for how ageing people interact with their physical and social environment, for example in traffic, in families, or at work. At the level of interpersonal relationships a specific question is how ageism – the stereotypical negative assumptions about older people – impacts on those targeted by ageism as well as intergroup relations.
The overall aim of the research within this theme is to contribute to better lives and optimal work and social environments for our ageing society as we move into the future. We do this by focusing attention on, and promoting understanding of, age-related strengths, active ageing strategies, and ways to optimize work and social environments for older citizens. If we realize this, the benefits will go both ways. Older people will benefit from learning what it takes to age gracefully and continue to take on meaningful roles in society. Societies will benefit from motivated and empowered older citizens who continue to make meaningful contributions. The ageing society is a fact – what we make of it is in our hands.
|Last modified:||15 March 2022 09.56 a.m.|