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Ageing and Social Well-Being (SoWell)

SoWell project studies older peoples own expectations, needs and activities regarding their well-being and a good life in old age. The project produces novel information by applying a participatory approach, creating new kind of cooperation with other projects, organizations and authorities.


Research data are collected by group discussions, one-on-one interviews and follow-up interviews with older individuals. The aim of these discussions and interviews is to find out the variety of perceptions the older people have about well-being. In addition, by conducting a postal survey, more generalizable information about different components of well-being, brought out in the discussions and interviews, will be obtained. Results will be reported in scientific and popular publications in English and in Finnish. Also a doctoral thesis will be conducted in the project. The research group include project leaders Professor Marja Jylhä and Adjunct Professor Outi Jolanki, researcher, PhD Jari Pirhonen and research assistant/doctoral researcher Katariina Tuominen.


Already a fifth, and after a decade, almost a quarter of the Finnish population is over 65 years old. Yet, there has been very little discussion about the impact of ageing on the society, or about the ways to create a society that supports well-being and participation of citizens of various ages. As the well-being of Finland increasingly consists of the well-being of older people, discussion about social well-being and the quality of life of older people is needed.  

The aim of the project is, together with older people and their organizations, to create a more reliable and realistic picture of older peoples social well-being and the ways to improve it. Municipalities, organizations and other communities can utilize this information in their activities. In addition, we want to bring about discussion about different meanings of social well-being and highlight the diversity of old age and the various life situations of older people.

Funding source

Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation