Older adults living in disadvantaged areas. A mixed methods study on homes, neighborhood transitions and wellbeing.

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords


  • CASE - Centre for Ageing and Supportive Environments


Swedish policy states that older adults should be able to age safely, with continued independence, and lead active lives. However, this plays out differently in different Swedish municipalities depending upon degrees of demographic change, globalization and urbanization. Internationally, older adults living in disadvantaged areas have worse physical and mental health, activity restrictions and reduced life expectancy. In Sweden, research on how disadvantaged areas impact on older adults´ wellbeing is virtually nonexistent. We argue that disadvantaged areas exist in both urban and rural contexts.

The study aims to investigate how home and neighborhood factors influence wellbeing and how person-context dynamics and belonging are experienced, along with neighborhood change.

We propose a mixed methods study with three phases, including quantitative and qualitative data collections. Adults 65+ years living in 3 disadvantaged areas, all with special features, will be included – 2 urban (socialt utsatta områden) and 1 rural (avfolkningsbygd). We will carry out a survey during home visits to explore
associations between observable and self-rated aspects of housing and neighborhood (physical, social and emotional), and wellbeing (N=360). We will carry out in-depth interviews and use photographs taken by the participants (n=40) to deepen our understanding of how older adults reason about their wellbeing and neighborhood and how they place themselves in the transitioning context. We will dedicate resources to achieve an inclusive recruitment despite, e.g. language barriers, to reach a representative sample for each area.

The study team from Lund University and Malmö University has national and international experience of studies on housing and care needs of socioeconomically vulnerable or frail older adults.

This study will add unique knowledge on what it is like to be older in disadvantaged areas, and deepen the
knowledge on housing and health dynamics in later life.
Effective start/end date2020/01/012023/12/31