Gerontological Social Work (GEROSOC)

An eledery couple that are gazing out over the water.

The GEROSOC research group brings together researchers in the division who study what it means to age in contemporary society and the mission of social work.

Our research focuses on a range of perspectives: from social policy, organizational perspectives, social issues, living conditions and how these relate to different situations of older adults in social work practice.

Our research is inter- and transdisciplinary, with a focus on translating this knowledge into policy and practice. We work with a range of qualitative and quantitative methods and different theoretical perspectives.

Researchers in the group are also active in science outreach and work with a user perspective in research.

We have meetings once a month for a seminar or workshop. The GEROSOC research group is also open to temporary participation by researchers from other divisions, departments, and Universities.


  • Gerontological social work and social inequalities in later life
  • Gerontological aspects of the social life course
  • Organization, management, and quality of care for older adults
  • Formal social services and informal care in service provision
  • Social work with older adults living with dementia
  • Social problems in later life


Research projects

When the foundation of a shared life changes

How couples living with dementia can be supported in managing their communicative and interactional challenges over time

This ongoing longitudinal project aims to increase knowledge about how couples living with dementia manage communicative challenges over time using various strategies. Research-based communication training (CARM) based on the findings will be offered to relevant professional groups, such as care managers and home care staff.

Project leader: Associate Professor Elin Nilsson, Linköping university. 

Project Collaborators: Professor Emeritus Lars-Christer Hydén, Linköping university Associate Professor Anna Ekström, Linköping university.

Founding: Forte

Improved conversations in Elder Care

Implementation of a research-based method for needs assessment conversations with older couples

The project focuses on how care managers in needs assessment conversations can best meet and support older couples living together.

The research results will be implemented by conducting research-based communication training (CARM) with care managers.

Project leader: Senior Associate Professor Anna Olaison, Linköping university. 

Project Collaborator: Associate Professor. Elin Nilsson, Linköping university.

Founding: The Kamprad Family Foundation

Research on older couples - activities - documentation

St@ndby me

An educational tool for ethical, transparent, and safe activities in adult education, targeting the digital inclusion of older persons in Europe.

The project aims to support practitioners in the field of adult education (i.e., teaching older persons the use of ICTs) and long-term care in building their capacity on how they can help older persons to meet their potential in digital participation, while protecting their rights to health, autonomy, independence, and privacy.

Project leader: Associate Professor George Pavlidis Division of Aging and Social Change Linköping university. 

Project Collaborators: Associate Professor Axel Ågren, Linköping university.

Founding: The European Commission


Does IBIC Contribute to Improved Practice?

A Study of Care Managers' Case files and Views on Documentation in Elder Care

The project focuses on care managers documentation practices within elder care. It delves into an aspect that hasn't been systematically studied: how care managers reason about documentation practices and what they choose to document in their case files during the needs assessment process for older persons seeking help and support in daily life.

Documentation, in this context, refers to the information and decisions written by care managers in investigations, decision letters, and case notes used in the assessment processes for elder care services.

This project will be conducted in collaboration with eleven municipalities across the country and is structured into two main parts: a focus group interview-based study (Part 1) and a study based on case file materials (Part 2). 

Project Leader: Professor Sandra Torres UppsalaUniversity

Project Collaborators: Senior Associate Professor Anna Olaison Linköping University, PhD Maricel Knechtel, Uppsala University

Founding: The Kamprad Family Foundation

Research on relatives' support

Closing the gap between the ambitions of carer support and its uptake

Investigating perspectives of and conditions for different welfare professionals and carers

The project focuses on the interface between informal and formal care is studied, with a focus on carer support.

The project combines Welfare research, Social work and Gerontology, and involves stakeholders as expert groups. Methodologically, carer support is studied from macro- (population), mezzo- (organizational) and micro- (individual) perspectives, through overlapping sub studies.

Project investigator: Associate Professor Joy Torgé Linköping university.

Project Collaborators: Professor Magnus Jegermalm Marie Cederschiöld College

Founding: Forte


Older Adults’ and their next of kins Experience of a Mobile Geriatric Team

The project investigates a mobile geriatric team/community healthcare team.

The study aims to gain insights into how older adults and their relatives perceive the supplementation of care through intervention/s by the community healthcare team, particularly focusing on the team's goal of providing individualized, secure, and coordinated care. A holistic approach aims to optimize care at home for the individual.

Project leader: Kjerstin Larsson Region Örebro County.

Project Collaborators: Veronika Wallroth, Linköping University, and Agneta Schröder, Region Örebro County

Founding: Region ÖrebroCounty

Research on the needs of the elderly

How are (un) equal assessments of the needs of older people created?

A study of care managers ' internal discussions during case conferences in social services

The project aims to explore the internal case conferences where care managers discuss challenges concerning current cases together with colleagues and managers. Case conferences are a central part of the needs assessment process and function as an arena for informal decision-making where one of the ambitions is to create consensus around cases.

The goal of the project is to make visible how inequalities regarding gender, ethnicity and age are created, but also counteracted, in the conversations that take place during the conferences. 

Project Leader: Senior Associate Professor Anna Olaison, Linköping university.

Project Collaborators: Associate Professor Johannes H. Österholm, Linköping university and Senior Associate Professor Annika Taghizadeh Larsson, Linköping university.

Founding: Forte

How do People with Dementia “Age in Place” in Today’s Sweden?

A study on the adaptation of social care services to the needs and preferences of care recipients and co-habiting partners

This project applies a novel approach to investigate how social care services under the Social Service Act are adapted to preferences and needs of older persons living at home with dementia (including their partners).

The project covers the process that starts when a person is granted to receive services, which are communicated to a care provider – who should design and execute the services – and finally reach the receiving older person. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Dementia Association. 

Project Leader: Associate Professor Susanne Kelfve, Linköping university.

Project Collaborators: Senior Associate Professor Annika Taghizadeh Larsson, Linköping university. Senior Associate Professor Anna Olaison Linköping university and Professor Emeritus Lars-Christer Hydén, Associate Professor Veronika Wallroth.

Founding: Forte

Research on loneliness and primary care

Older Men's Loneliness

Focusing on older men and activities that can counteract loneliness

The purpose of this study is to deepen the understanding of the factors that lead older men to participate in interventions/activities aimed at reducing involuntary loneliness.

Project investigator: Associate Professor Veronika Wallroth Linköping university.

Project Collaborators: Associate Professor Annsofie Mahrs Träff, Linköping university.

Founding: Application for research funding is ongoing

Older personslonliness

Platform: A project with the aim of exchanging knowledge on loneliness and facilitating cooperation with different actors in society.

Project leader: Associate Professor Axel Ågren, Linköping university

Secure And Focused primary care for older pEople (SAFE)

A prospective matched-controlled trial

The projects aim is to examine whether a person-centered proactive care model with comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in primary care with additional long-term care coordination and increased patient participation, contributes to reduced inpatient care and/or increased quality of life among community-dwelling older people.

Project leader: Associate Professor Anna Segernäs Linköping University

Project Collaborators: Senior Associate Professor Anna Olaison, Linköping university, Associate Professor Lisa Kastbom, Linköping university and Associate Professor Annette Sverker, Linköping university.

Founding: Region Östergötland och Region Jönköping

Dissertation projects

Municipalities varying prerequisites to provide for elder care 

The focus in Sara Wittberg’s research is mainly on local political policies within the Social Services and Swedish municipalities varying prerequisites to provide for elder care.

Her research highlights frontline bureaucrats’ prerequisites to use their competence when making decisions about service and support to older people. This is done by investigating local policies, such as local guidelines and policies for delegation – determining decision-making authority for care managers.

Long term, the prerequisites for decision-making can affect older people’s access to support and services.

Recognition of LGBTQ older people 

Jenny Gillingsjö's research focuses on the importance of recognition of LGBTQ older people in modern society from both the actor´s perspective and from a structural perspective.

By examining the communication about LGBTQ older adults in the political debate as well as their own experiences of how they deal with their LGBTQ identity and the importance of social relationships, the research highlights societal discourses for increased recognition. The research also focuses on the demands of the LGBTQ older adults themselves make for greater understanding and inclusion in society.

Research team

Relaterad information