General information . .
Aging & Later Life
Aging & Later Life is a multidisciplinary, cross-departmental research program. We focus specifically on the concepts of resilience, quality of life, and personalised care during the three stages of the aging process: growing old, being old, and the last years of life.
Currently, aging research focusses either on the idea of “loss” — in which vulnerability is defined negatively in terms of frailty — or on “healthy aging”, which, by emphasising success, leaves little room for older people who can’t achieve this ideal. By contrast, the idea of resilience — "the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity" — focusses on older people’s capacity for responding to specific age-related tasks and transitions. By using the concept of resilience, we aim to provide a more realistic, more inclusive alternative that will help us better understand, investigate and address vulnerability.
Quality of Life
For many older people, full physical health is often unachievable. However, a "good" life is determined by more than just physical health — it also depends on the extent to which people can continue to get value and meaning out of life after suffering a health setback. At Aging & Later Life, we investigate how individual and structural factors can affect the quality of life of older people, and people in the final years of life.
The increase in multimorbidity contributes to the growing variety of clinical profiles. In addition, awareness of determinants of group differences in health effects or treatment results is growing. We therefore need to know more about personalised care in healthcare. Amsterdam, a model of our increasingly diverse society where over 180 nationalities are represented, needs this more than anywhere else in the Netherlands. We want our research to help provide deeper insights into what kind of care works for whom, and when.
Central to the Aging & Later Life program are scientific quality and social impact. We therefore value interdisciplinary approaches, and strife for active collaboration with other faculties, field partners and educational institutions, as well as with older people themselves.
Program secretary: Bernadette Jurriën-Zaal