Scholars from the Gerontology Institute of Jönköping University (Sweden) will unite forces with colleagues from Tomsk Polytechnic University to research the wellbeing of elderly people. Now, Swedish scholars Pingo Kåreholt and Susanne Johannesson participate in the 4th International Scientific Symposium Lifelong Wellbeing in the World to be held on 11-15 September 2017 at TPU and discuss further cooperation with TPU colleagues.
Photo: Ms. Susanne Johannesson and Prof. Pingo Koreholt
Since 2014, scholars of Tomsk Polytechnic University have conducted research devoted to the Evaluation and Improvement of Social, Economic and Emotional Well-being of Older People supervised by Professor Fabio Casati, the University of Trento, Italy. Scholars conducted a large-scale sociological survey of retired people living in Tomsk region and designed a concept of a wellbeing index of elderly people for the Russian region, including objective and subjective criteria, i.e. how a person evaluates his/her ‘level of happiness’.
In addition, a group of TPU scholars developed a dedicated app GymCentral to enhance physical activity of retired people. This is a virtual fitness room on a tablet which helps retirees both to keep themselves fit and make new friends not leaving home. The app has already been tested in five countries: Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, and the USA. The experiment showed that physical and social activities are interrelated: the more people train, the more they communicate.
The next stage of the TPU project is devoted to the study of the phenomenon of elderly people’s loneness.
Over 20 years the scholars from Sweden have already worked in the field of gerontology – a science studying biological, social and psychological aspects of human aging. At Jönköping University they explore the issues of aging in various areas.
‘We studied TPU publications devoted to the wellbeing of elderly people in Siberia. This study was conducted at very good level. We hope to unite our efforts in this interesting scientific area,’
says Prof. Pingo Koreholt.
The Swedish scholars pay much attention to the impact of socioeconomic factors on people in old age. Their research shows that economic prosperity certainly has a strong impact on a person’s life, but it is not the main factor of well-being for the elderly. The scholars have not revealed a direct relationship between the wealth and wellbeing of elderly people. According to the researchers from Jönköping University, on the first places there are health and equal access to healthcare and social contacts including family members.
‘We find the cooperation with TPU very attractive.
Now we define areas of common interest between scientific teams. We plan to find solutions for joint activity, internships for students and specialists of the two universities. We hope for long-term productive cooperation,’ notes Ms. Susanne Johannesson.