ASC-ISAR – Interdisciplinary Seminar on Ageing Research 

ASC-ISAR provides outstanding lectures on ageing of interdisciplinary significance for all those interested in ageing research

Research on ageing is by nature interdisciplinary. Ageing is part of human life in general, but also socially constructed and influenced by many different factors, such as genes, lifestyle, social structure, welfare systems, technical development, health care, medicine, and economy. Many research areas are associated with aging, although not considered as “ageing research”.

ASC-ISAR is a seminar series for everyone interested in research on ageing. ASC-ISAR provides a platform for outstanding lectures on issues of ageing from different disciplinary angles that are of general interest. Moreover, it serves as a platform for ageing research where researchers meet, network and create collaborations.

Programme Spring 2022 Show/Hide content

Exploring the relationship between critical life transitions in older age and mutidimesional social exclusion

January 19, 2022, 13:15

Prof. Kieran Walsh 

 

Aging and Social Networks: Perspectives from South(east) Asia 

February 9, 2022, 13:15

Dr. Julia Schröders 

Research has well-documented the importance of social networks for health and wellbeing throughout the life course, and in particular, networks’ instrumental role in promoting trajectories of healthy aging among older adults. However, the generalizability of these associations to aging populations in low- and middle-income countries is not well-established. This presentation presents a recently concluded PhD project (2021) which aimed to better understand the role of social networks – particularly networks’ diversity, dynamics, and deficits – for the health of aging populations in the Southeast Asian context of Indonesia. In addition, I will present an upcoming project (2022-24) aiming to develop social network interventions in both Indonesia and Nepal.

 

The challenges to guarantee sexual rights and sexual behavior in long-term care institutions for older people

March 16, 2022, 13:15

Prof. Feliciano Villar Posada 

Entering a long-term care facility frequently implies facing specific barriers that discourage or even prevent older people from expressing openly their sexual needs and maintaining their rights to a sexual and erotic life. In the talk, such barriers will be discussed, paying special attention to the difficulties faced by specific social groups such as people living with dementia (PLWD) and those identifying as LGBT. Finally, policies that could help to secure the sexual rights of older people living in long-term care facilities will also be considered.

 

Cancelled. Social robots and meaning making practices between caregivers and care receivers

April 13, 2022, 13:15

Dr. Marcus Persson

How are social (companion) robots used in special housings in relation to people with dementia? And, how do caregivers and care receivers together construct the robots as meaningful actors in social interaction? The presentation draws upon qualitative data from an ongoing research project, and will focus on intersubjective practices involving caregivers and care receivers. The practices can be verbal – such as, talking with and about the robot, or giving it a nickname – as well as physical, such as, holding or “proffering” the robot in different ways. In the presentation, Persson will give examples of both successful and un-successful interactions between caregivers and care receivers when using robots.

 

Cross-national empirical evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on informal carers in Europe

May 18, 2022, 13:15

Dr. Giovanni Lamura 

This presentation will illustrate empirical findings from different sources on the impact of the pandemic on informal carers in Europe. To this purpose, it will first present a pre-pandemic overview of estimations on the number of informal carers using three Europe-wide surveys, to move into the analysis of the impact of the first pandemic wave (occurred in 2020) on formal and informal care, with a more in-depth focus on carers of people with dementia in Italy and Hungary. The presentation will close with evidence from the second  wave (occurred in 2021) in 8 European countries.

 

Family Conflicts: Love and Hate around Inheritance and Gifts

May 19, 2022, 10:15-11:30

Dr. Stephan Köppe 

In Western Europe families have long been considered a cohesive force in society with evidence of strong kinship ties (Arber/Attias-Donfut 2000). Yet, within the context of austerity, privatisation and ageing populations we can observe a re-familialisation of key welfare functions and a greater reliance on family transfers to fund higher education, housing or long-term care (Köppe 2018a). By conducting an analysis of court case records in Sweden, this project examines what happens when intergenerational financial transfers (i.e. inheritances and inter-vivo gifts) give rise to family conflicts and tensions. This study builds on findings from a recent study involving English court cases (see Izuhara/Köppe 2019) thereby making a key contribution to understanding the scale and nature of intergenerational conflicts in different European contexts. The presentation will focus on the conceptual framework, research design and Swedish policy context.

Research on Ageing and Social Change Show/Hide content

Previous seminars Show/Hide content

2021

Ageing and Social Change (AGE) – Themes and concepts of a new international Master’s programme

Prof. Andreas Motel-Klingebiel and Dr. Indre Genelyte

December 1, 2021

 

Learning and dementia

Prof. Lars-Christer Hydén and Elias Ingebrand

People living with dementia often face assumptions about their capabilities in everyday activities and interactions. With little consideration regarding the heterogeneity of the clinical population, the general view of people living with dementia is made akin to severe and irrevocable loss of cognitive functions and an idea of diminished or vanished identity (Hydén, 2016). One assumption, that to a large extend has been unquestioned, is that people living with dementia are incapable of achieving novel learning. This presentation builds on Ingebrand's ongoing PhD project, and the focus is on how learning can be conceptualized and studied in everyday activities involving people living with dementia.

December 8, 2021

 

Ageing and communication technologies

By Professor Loredana Ivan, University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania.

In our information society, media use plays an important role. However, knowledge is lacking about whether different birth cohorts show preferences for specific traditional or new media. We provide empirical evidence for the concept of ‘technology generations’ formulated by Sackmann & Weymann (1994; 2013) in relation to media use by older adults. We tested differences in media use and media preferences in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, using commensurate samples consisting of Internet users aged 60 years and older (N=10527). Our cross-cultural data reveal differences between the technology generations, especially in terms of media use, but not in media preferences (time spent using different media). We also found the effect of country of origin to be stronger than the effect of generation in explaining older adults’ preferences for traditional/vs new media.

The results point to the need for a more nuanced view of the concept of ‘technology generation’, when taking into account some contextual aspects, that would differentiate the way different age cohorts incorporate technologies in their lives.

October 6, 2021.

 

Aging and Digital Technology – Friends or Foes?

By Dr. Stefan T. Kamin, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU), Germany

European countries experience two remarkable dynamics:

(1) increases in life expectancy coupled with an increased population aging; and

(2) rapid digitalization processes that affect various aspects of daily life.

Exploring the interplay between both dynamics has become a major pillar in gerontological research. That is because using (or not using) digital technology is assumed to involve benefits as well as risks to individual aging processes in modern societies. However, we know little about how the digitalization is associated with the variability of health-related and psychological outcomes in later life.

In the first part of this talk, I will provide an overview of my research to investigate beneficial implications and consequences of digital technology use among older adults. Based on nationwide representative panel studies such as the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) or the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), I will empirically illustrate how the use of digital technology is positively associated with outcomes in cognitive and socioemotional domains of functioning. However, technology is not always a friend of old age, and therefore I will discuss dysfunctional and not intended consequences for the older person in the second part of my presentation.

May 19, 2021.

 

Loneliness in older adults – research evidence and future directions

By Prof. Dr. Lena Dahlberg, Dalarna University, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Sweden

April 14, 2021.

 

Using active ageing as a policy response to the challenges of ageing

By Dr. Liam Foster, University of Sheffield, UK

Using active ageing as a policy response to the challenges of ageing ‘Active ageing’ has been a key strategy for responding to demographic ageing in Europe. This is in contrast to the United States where discourses around successful ageing have dominated.

This presentation will initially consider some of the key challenges and responses associated with demographic ageing, with particular reference to the UK. It will define and chart the development of active ageing responses to demographic change. In practice, it will show how active ageing has been dominated by a narrow economic or productivist perspective that prioritizes the extension of working life and reducing the ‘burden’ of population ageing. Such interpretations of active ageing undermine the value of a more comprehensive approach to active ageing.

It will explore the development of the Active Ageing Index in 2012, and show that its operation has tended to reaffirm age-based categories associated with ageing, failing to engage with the importance of the life course in shaping the experience of old age.

Nevertheless, it will argue that active ageing still has an important role to play in our understanding of and responses to ageing, and outline the basic principles that need to be followed if the full potential of active aging is to be realized. In particular, it argues that it should be central to policy strategies aimed at improving older people’s well-being.

March 17, 2021.

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