Programme for research in Aging

Research Centre for Health and Welfare Technology

About the programme in aging

The Research Programme in Aging focuses on the impact of aging processes on human health and illness, as well as maintaining quality of life, autonomy and dignity of older people.

The purpose is to contribute with research knowledge regarding the development of an integrated and coherent health care system for the citizen promoting a healthy and active old age.

A question of competences

In particular, the focus is on the municipal health service and on supporting the development of sustainable care and medical treatment and rehabilitation of elderly frail citizens.

To achieve this, there is a need to raise the general level of competence of the social and health professionals in the workforce.

Furthermore, welfare technology is an inevitable solution of the future, both as an integral part of treatment and care, as well as in the everyday lives of older citizens.

Research areas

The programme in aging has five research areas:

  • Competences in a coherent healthcare system
  • Healthy and active aging
  • Sustainable care to old fragile citizens
  • Welfare technology and digitization of welfare services for senior citizens
  • Everyday life among old age citizens living alone

About the research

  • Nursing students

    The need for nurses in the health care system  and for elderly care is increasing.

    Nursing students’ career dreams in elderly care

    The increased number of elderly people challenges the health care system. National and international research indicate, that nursing students' career dreams are moving towards acute nursing as well as nursing for children and young people.

    Currently there is an increasing need for nurses in the health care system. This causes an additional need for nurses in the care of elderly citizens, who have complex care needs. The social recognition of elderly care is not high.

    Several studies show that the students want their work to make a difference. This means that the students want to see that the patient is making progress. In addition, they want to receive recognition for their work.

    Teachers are role models

    Other studies show that teachers and supervisors as role models greatly influences the students' choice of career. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how the curriculum in the nursing programmes can be planned, so the students become interested in caring for elderly people.

    The aim of the research is to develop new knowledge about how the nursing programme can be planned to emphasize career opportunities in caring for elderly citizens.

    The method are Interventions in which students involve with elderly people through narrative interviews. The intervention seek to create meaning for the nursing students in caring for elderly people, thus trying to legitimize having career dreams within the care of the elderly.

    Qualitative interviews with nursing students about their career dreams are completed before and after the interventions.

    Interview before intervention primo September 2019. Intervention in September 2019, interview after intervention October 2019.

    Research Team

    Jette Henriksen

    Kirsten Nielsen

    Read other projects about health care students

    Career dreams among health care students: I want to make a difference

  • Older men living alone

    The project focus on older man living alone and their health, quality of life and masculinity.

    Old men living alone seem to face health inequities in different ways:

    • They have a shorter life expectancy than both women and men living with a spouse
    • they are disadvantaged with regard to numerous somatic diseases
    • they have higher rates of loneliness, depression and suicide
    • and they make far less use of the health care system’s opportunities.

    Not much is known about these men’s lives, however. Masculinity studies has until recently not paid old age much attention, and gerontology has either focused on older women or ignored gender as a perspective. Old men in general and old men living alone in particular have therefore been called invisible in research.

    In this project we study men living alone from different perspectives. We interview the men themselves about their activities, concerns and quality of life as well as about their life stories; we gather data on their health and use of health care services from different sources; and we interview some of the social and health care professionals who encounter the men in their work.

    Visible in gerontological research

    The projects aims to make old men visible in Gerontological research and provide insight into the lives of these men, thereby helping health care workers to be able to reach out to a group of men that are rendered a concern because of their notorious unavailability.

    In addition, the project has implications for our understanding of living alone in old age, a phenomenon that is becoming more and more widespread, not least among men.

    This research project is carried out in joint collaboration with Aarhus University and is funded by The Velux Foundation and The EGV Foundation. More details are available at the Danish website for the project: Publications can be found by consulting the academic profiles of the involved researchers.

    Read more about the research

    Older men living alone. Health, quality of life and masculinity - Read about the research (in danish)

    Contact the research team

    Kristian Park Frausing

    Michael Smærup

    Kirsten Maibom

    Karen Pallesgaard Munk (Aarhus University)



  • Osiris - Welfare technology and senior citizens

    The project Osiris explores how welfare technology can provide the best service to senior citizens.

    Welfare technology integration is inevitable to provide the best service to senior citizens in order to maintain an active and good life in old age.

    The best way is to collaborate and connect researchers, product developers, financers and user organizations into a welfare-technology network.

    It enables innovation actors to collaborate to develop and implement innovative products and services creating a match between the technology available in the market and the needs of end users.

    Read about the projects

    Osiris – Interreg projekt. Silver Economy and smart specialisation

  • Find our researchers

    Read more about our researchers.

    Contact about research in aging:

    Kirsten Maibom
    Research manager

    T: +45 87 55 17 02

    Research specialisation: 
    • Quality of life and dignity in old age
    • Welfare Technology and smart specialisation
    • Fundraising and project management



    • Jette Henriksen
    • Kirsten Nielsen
    • Mads Lund Andersen
    • Michael Smærup
    • Bodil Sørensen
    • Kristian Park Frausing


    Read about the researchers:

    Jette Henriksen, associate professor, cand. cur., PhD
    T: +45 87 55 22 63
    Academic profile

    Research specialisation: 
    • Professional Development and Educational Research
    • Curriculum research
    • Healthcare students’ career dreams


    Kirsten Nielsen, associate professor, cand. cur., PhD
    T: +45 87 55 22 70
    Academic profile

    Research specialisation:
    • Learning and learning styles research
    • Educational Research
    • Nursing students´ in elderly care


    Kristian Frausing, associate professor, PhD student
    T: +45 87 55 25 63
    Academic profile

    Research specialisation:
    • Old men living alone
    • Old age masculinities
    • Loneliness


    Michael Smærup, associate professor, PhD
    T: +45 87 55 18 19
    Academic profile

    Research specialisation: 
    • Aging – vulnerable groups of older adults
    • Dementia and cognitive stimulation therapy
    • Old men living alone


    Bodil Sørensen, associate professor
    T: +45 87 55 20 64

    Research specialisation:
    • Aging – vulnerable groups of older adults
    • Welfare technology
    • Everyday life with technology
    • Prediction of hospitalization


    Mads Lund Andersen, assistant professor, Ma. Ed. Psych
    T: +4587552568
    Academic profile

    Research specialisation:
    • Virtuality and psychology
    • Welfare technology and innovation
    • Didactics in social professions