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Outi Jolanki

Research Manager
Tampere University
phone number+358401901660

About me

Currently I work at the Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Finland as a research director and senior researcher. My central tasks are linked to the activities of the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare 2018-2025,, which is a joint centre of the University of Jyväskylä, Tampere University and University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary centre of the CoE AgeCare studies the questions of ageing, health of ageing population, agency of older people, housing and care policies, digitalization and migration in national and global contexts. 

My research covers different topics and the disciplines of social gerontology, sociology of health and illness, care studies, care and housing policies. I have a longstanding interest towards the concept of agency and the possibility of the individual people to make choices and act upon ageing, health, place of living and care. In recent years I have become interested in the ideas of geographical and environmental gerontology. In connection to this my research has focused on linkages between living environment and wellbeing, communal senior housing models, emerging housing models combining ordinary housing and service housing, and sustainable development goals in the context of ageing of population and old age policies. In recent years I have became more involved in studies on technology use of older adults and digital environment since todays world these topics cannot be ignored when studying agency and wellbeing of older adults. Majority of my research has been conducted with qualitative methods like discourse analysis.

I am working with several research projects which address linkages between social wellbeing of older people and participation in community, living environment and technology. AISola-project (TaU 2021-2022, ) studies connections between loneliness and social isolation of older adults and sociomaterial environment including social contacts, wellbeing services and technology. Data is collected in so called 'Social Hubs' located in the City of Tampere among Social Hub frequent visitors. The project group consist of Spatial & Speculative Research in Architectural Design (SPREAD), Emerging Technologies Laboratory (ETLab), Centre of Excellence on Research in Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare) Tampere Gerontology group, Future Automation Systems and Technologies Laboratory (FAST-Lab.), and Wireless positioning team (TLTPOS) group. Kotiluontoon-project (To the nature-project), TaU, 2022-2023, studies meaning of nature for older adults and their access to nature in their living environment. This project is conducted in collaboration with Faculty of Built Environment, ASUTUT-research group and Faculty of Social Sciences, CoE AgeCare Tampere Gerontology group. 

Social wellbeing and older people-project (SoWell 2018-2023) maps the meanings of social wellbeing for older people and their participation in community and in society. Wellbeing and Later Life in a Digital Age-project (AgeWell, 1.3.2020-31.6.2021) was a collaborative project between Tampere University and Brunel University (UK). In this project we mapped the linkages between wellbeing and technology use from the perspective of older people themselves, and are now preparing a larger research proposal. In a joint research project of the University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University (AHAVA 2018-2022) we study housing and moving from a lifecourse perspective and new models of senior housing. 

In my current research I continue the work conducted and initiated in previous research projects on housing (New housing options and dignified old age ASUVA 2016-2017 TAU; LinkAGE 2016-2020 JYU; Moving in old age: Transitions in Housing and Care MOVAGE 2012-2015 JYU), social and health care policies (Client-centered care – patient choice and care integration VALINT 2014-2016 National Institute for Health and Welfare & Tampere University), and family care (Working Carers and Caring Workers: Making Paid Employment and Care Responsibilities Compatible? WOCAWO 2008-2012 JYU).   


I hold the title of Docent (Adjunct Professor) of Social Gerontology from the University of Helsinki (2015), and I have the PhD from the University of Tampere (2009). My PhD thesis combined disciplines of social gerontology and sociology of health and illness and studied older people’s views of ageing and health especially their views of individual responsibility and possibilities to have effect on health. I took the masters’ degree (M.Sc. Sociology) in the Department of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, 1996 studying as a major subject sociology and as minor subjects history, philosophy, administration and gender studies. 


My teaching duties are mainly related to the fields of social gerontology, social policy and qualitative research methods. I have created and taught courses for Bachelor and Master level students in Finnish and in English. I have been and am involved in teaching qualitative methods and in particulary discourse analysis in research method courses in Tampere University in health sciences and in the University of Jyväskylä in the department of social sciences and philosophy. Currently I am responsible for the course (5 etcs) on places and politics of housing and care (Asumisen ja hoivan paikat ja politiikat), which is part of the master level studies in Gerontology (35 op) in the Open University, University of Jyväskylä.  

 Scholarly activities and societal impact  

My central academic tasks include the membership in the European Sociological Association Research Network Ageing in Europe (ESA RN01 Ageing in Europe, 2019-, the editor of Debates & Issues section of The International Journal of Care and Caring (2019-) and the membership in editorial boards of scientific international journals (Journal of Ageing Studies 2009-, Housing & Society 2020-) and Finnish journal of gerontology (Gerontologia 2010-, editor-in-chief 2018-2020).   

During last years I have participated in and lectured in several local and national seminars in different parts of Finland. The central topics include new models of senior housing, collaborative and multigenerational senior housing, the interlinkages of housing and care policies, social wellbeing and family care. I am a member of the national network (IKÄ-verkosto, 2018-,, which aims to promote information exchange between members of the parliament, scientists and NGOs. I participate in developing housing innovation as a member of steering group of KALON-project ( KALON collaborative housing complex offers different kind of housing options including social housing and service housing. The central aim is to build a housing option based on sustainable development aims which means active participation of the residents, collaboration and shared use of resources as well following principles of sustainable construction and promoting public transportation.     

Research fields

gerontology, geographical gerontology, environmental gerontology, sociology, social and health care policy, care policy

Selected publications

List of selected peer-reviewed publications


Jolanki, O., Eskola, P., & Aaltonen, M. (2023). People with memory illnesses and their spouses as actors in the hybrid care model. Special Issue: New forms of family care in cultural and institutional contexts, Journal of Family Research, 35, 326–344.

Eskola, P., Jolanki, O., & Aaltonen, M. (2023). Muistisairautta sairastavan ikääntyvän puolison toimijuus parisuhteessa. Gerontologia, 37(2), 120–139.


Uotila, H., & Jolanki, O. (2022). Kotona asuvien 60 vuotta täyttäneiden ihmisten yksinäisyys koronapandemian aikana [Loneliness during Covid-19 pandemic among independently living people aged 60+]. Gerontologia, 36(3), 271–290.

Eskola, P.; Jolanki, O.; Aaltonen, M. (2022). Through Thick and Thin: The Meaning of Dementia for the Intimacy of Ageing Couples. Special Issue: Dementia & Care, Healthcare 2022, 10, 2559.

Eskola, P., Jolanki, O., Van Aerschot, L., & Aaltonen, M. (2022). Muistisairauden aiheuttamat käyttäytymisen muutokset ja parisuhteen vastavuoroisuus [Behavioural changes of memory disorder and reciprocity in spousal relationship]. Gerontologia, 36(4), 344–361.

Site, A.; Lohan, E.S.; Jolanki, O.; Valkama, O.; Hernandez, R.R.; Latikka, R.; Alekseeva, D.; Vasudevan, S.; Afolaranmi, S.; Ometov, A.; et al. (2022). Managing Perceived Loneliness and Social-Isolation Levels for Older Adults: A Survey with Focus on Wearables-Based Solutions. Sensors 2022, 22, 1108. 10.3390/s22031108


Jolanki, O.H. (2021) Senior Housing as a Living Environment That Supports Well-Being in Old Age. Frontiers in Public Health 8,

Lehto-Niskala, V; Jolanki, O; Pulkki, J; Jylhä, M. (2021) Kuntoutus ikääntyneiden pitkäaikaishoidossa asukkaiden ja hoitajien näkökulmasta. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 86 (2021): 1.

Lehto-Niskala,V., Jolanki, O., Valvanne, J. & Jylhä, M. (2021) Standardised functional assessment in long-term care for older people: perspective of Finnish care workers. Nordic Journal of Social Research, vol 12, no 1, 27-47.

Aaltonen, M., Martin-Matthew, A., Pulkki, J., Eskola, P. & Jolanki, O. (2021) Experiences of people with memory disorders and their spouse carers on influencing formal care: “They ask my wife questions that they should ask me”, Dementia 2021, vol 0(0), 1-16.


Pirhonen, J., Lolich, L., Tuominen, K., Jolanki, O. & Timonen, V. (2020) ’These devices have not been made for older people’s needs’ – Older adults’ perceptions of digital technologies in Finland and Ireland. Technology in Society 62, 2020, 


Pirhonen, J., Jolanki, O., Tuominen, K. & Jylhä, M. Hyvinvointi vanhuudessa – valmistautumista, sopeutumista, luopumista ja hyväksymistä. Gerontologia, 3/2019, 105-120. 


Jolanki, O. & Tynkkynen, L-K. (2018) Primary health care nurses’ views on patients’ abilities and resources to make choices and take decisions on health care. Health Policy, 122, 957-962.


Jolanki, O., Tynkkynen, L-K. & Sinervo, T. (2017). Professionals’ views on integrated care. Journal of Integrated Care, 25 (4), 247-255. 

Jolanki, O., Leinonen, E., Rajaniemi, J., Rappe, E., Räsänen, T., Teittinen, O., & Topo, P. (2017). Asumisen yhteisöllisyys ja hyvä vanhuus. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 47/2017. Valtioneuvoston kanslia, Helsinki.  

Lehto, V., Jolanki, O., Valvanne, J., Seinelä, L. & Jylhä, M. (2017). Understanding functional ability: Perspectives of the nurses and older people living in long-term care. Journal of Aging Studies, 43, 15-22.  

Vehko, T., Jolanki, O., Aalto, A-M. & Sinervo, T. (2017). How do health care workers manage a patient with multiple care needs from both health and social care services? – A vignette study. International Journal of Care Coordination, pp.1-10. DOI:10.1177/2053434517744070.

Häikiö, L., Adams, S., Fraisse, L., Jolanki, O. & Knutagård, M. (2017). The Janus face of social innovation in local welfare initiatives. In Martinelli F., Anttonen, A. & Mätzke, M. (eds). Social services disrupted. Changes, Challenges and Policy Implications for Europe in Time of Austerity, 281-301, Edvard Elgar e-book. DOI:  


Jolanki, O. (2016). Liian vanha vai liian nuori muuttamaan? Iän merkitys asumisen valinnoissa [Too old or too young to move? Meaning of age in housing choices]. In Juhila, J. & Kröger, T. (eds). Siirtymät ja valinnat asumispoluilla [Transitions and choices in housing pathways], pp.134-162. Jyväskylä: SoPhi (, e-book.

Jolanki, O. (2016). Whose business it is anyway? Distributing responsibilities between family members and formal carers. In Östman, J-O. & Solin, A. (eds.) Discourse and Responsibility in Professional Settings, pp. 96-119. London: Equinox Publishing.

Jolanki, O. & Sinervo, T. (2016). Valinnanvapaus ja palveluiden integraatio työntekijänäkökulmasta [Patient choice and service integration from the workers perspective]. In Vehko, T., Tynkkynen, L-K. & Aalto, A. (eds.) Mitä kuuluu perusterveydenhuolto? Valinnanvapaus ja integraatio palveluiden kehittämisen polttopisteessä [How are you Finnish health centre? Freedom of choice and care integration as central targets of development], pp.76-97. Helsinki, The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Raportti 16/2016.   

Juhila, K., Jolanki, O. & Vilkko, A. (2016). Siirtymät ja valinnat vanhojen ihmisten ja asunnottomien asumispoluilla [Transitions and choices in the housing pathways of older and homeless people]. In Juhila, J. & Kröger, T. (eds.). Siirtymät ja valinnat asumispoluilla [Transitions and choices in housing pathways],pp.11-39. Jyväskylä: SoPhi (, e-book.

Pulkki, J., Tynkkynen, L-K. & Jolanki, O. (2016). Vanhenemisen paikat vanhuspalvelulain lähetekeskustelussa [Definitions of appropriate places to live in old age in the parliamentary speech]. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka. 82 (1), 45-54.


Jolanki, O. (2015a). Elderly parents’ need for help and adult children’s moving decisions. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. Special Issue: Northern Lights on Housing for Elderly People Research, 29 (1-2), 77-91.

Jolanki, O. (2015b). Jäädä vai lähteä? Muuttosyyt 75+-haastatteluissa [To stay or to go? Reasons to move among people 75+]. Gerontologia: Asuminen teemanumero 4, 250-261. 

Jolanki, O. (2015c). To work or to care? Working women’s decision-making. Community, Work and Family, 18 (3), 268-283.

Jolanki, O. (2015d). Whose business it is anyway? Distributing responsibilities between family members and formal carers. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice. Special Issue: Discourse and Responsibility, 9 (3), 2012@2015, 319-340. 

Jolanki, O. & Seppänen, M. (eds.) (2015). Gerontologia: Asuminen teemanumero [Gerontologia. Special Issue on Housing], 4, 2015. 

Jolanki, O. & Vilkko, A. (2015). The meaning of a ‘sense of community’ in a Finnish senior cohousing community’. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. Special Issue: Northern Lights on Housing for Elderly People Research, 29 (1-2), 111-125.

Jolanki,O. & Kröger, T. (2015). Onko vanhalla vara valita? Vanhojen ihmisten uudet asumisvaihtoehdot [Can older people afford to choose? New housing options for older people]. In Häkli, J., Vilkko, R. & Vähäkylä, L. Kaikki kotona?Asumisen uudet tuulet [New options in housing], 82-92. Helsinki, Gaudeamus, Tutkitusti-sarja.

2014 and before

Jolanki, O., Szebehely, M. & Kauppinen, K. (2013) Family rediscovered? Working carers of older people in Finland and Sweden. In Kröger, T. & Yeandle, S. (eds.). Combining Paid Work and Family Care, Policies and perspectives in international perspective, pp. 53-69. Bristol: Policy Press.

Kauppinen, K. & Jolanki, O. (2012) Työn sekä omais- ja läheishoivan yhdistäminen – työssäjatkamisajatukset [Reconciling work and care giving – to continue working or retire?]. Summary in English. In Perkiö-Mäkelä, M. & Kauppinen, T. (eds.) Työ, terveys ja työssä jatkamisajatukset [Work, health and thoughts on continuing work and retirement], pp. 133-156. Työ ja ihminen. Tutkimusraportti [Research report] 41. Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. 

Perkiö-Mäkelä, M., Mutanen, P., Leino-Arjas, P., Hakanen, J., Hirvonen, M., Jolanki, O., Kandolin, I., Kauppinen, K., Kauppinen, T., Salminen, S., Tuomivaara, S. & Vartia, M. (2012). Työssä jatkamisajatuksiin yhteydessä olevat tekijät - yhteenvetoanalyysi ja suositukset [Thoughts on continuing work – summary and recommendations]. Summary in English. In Perkiö-Mäkelä, M. & Kauppinen, T.(eds.) Työ, terveys ja työssä jatkamisajatukset [Work, Health and thoughts on continuing work and retirement], pp.157-199. Työ ja ihminen. Tutkimusraportti [Research report] 41. Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. 

Jolanki, O. & Karhunen S. (2010) Tietokoneohjelmat laadullisen aineiston analyysin tukena [Computer software programmes as tools in qualitative data analysis]. In Ruusuvuori, J., Nikander, P. & Hyvärinen, M. (eds.). Haastattelun analyysi [Analysing Interviews], pp.395-410. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Jolanki, O. (2009). Agency in talk about old age and health. Journal of Aging Studies, 23 (4), 215–226. 

Jolanki, O. (2009) Talk about old age, health and morality. In Edmondson, R. & von Kondratowitz, H-J. (eds.) Valuing Older People. A Humanist Approach to Ageing, pp.261-274. Bristol, Policy Press.

Jolanki, O. (2008). Discussing responsibility and ways of influencing health. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 3 (1), 45-76. doi:10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.083145

Jolanki, O. (2004). Moral argumentation in talk about health and old age. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 8 (4), 483-503. doi:10.1177/13634593040457001363-4593  

Jolanki, O., Jylhä, M. & Hervonen, A. (2000). Old age as a choice and as a necessity. Two interpretative repertoires. Journal of Ageing Studies, 14 (4), 359-372. 

PhD Thesis

Jolanki, O. (2009). Fate of choice? – Talking about old age and health. PhD Thesis, Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis 1434. Tampere: Tampere University Press. htpp://