Research subject Care of older people
At the Department of Social Work, questions about older adults, aging and long-term care are an integral part of the social work education, as well as one of the main research areas.
The research area is well established, consisting of several different orientations with the common denominator to investigate how social policy changes and reforms affect the living conditions of older adults and their possibility for receiving care as needed. Social work with older adults, regardless of whether they use long-term care, will become increasingly important as societies are ageing.
The research area of aging and long-term care includes various subject areas. A long-researched area at the Department concerns the everyday life and conditions of long-term care, with a focus on working conditions in home care and institutional care. This tradition links feminist care research, social policy welfare research and research on the organization of welfare services. In several of these projects, Swedish long-term care and other forms of care is contrasted with other countries in a comparative investigation.
Our focus of research has expanded over time regarding subject areas as well as methods and theoretical perspectives applied. Current research projects include workplace violence, how ethnic and linguistic challenges and opportunities are handled in the everyday practice of care; person centering, user participation and shared decision-making; participation of older people and relatives in the assessment as well as in discharge process from hospital and in everyday life in nursing homes. Furthermore, aging and social inequality as well as psychosocial resilience in an aging population are studied. Our research also consists of a social gerontological focus on the older people's changing family relationships in late modern society, with a focus on themes such as intimate relationships in later life, aging stepfamilies and divorce late in life.
The research group works with a methodological diversity: interviews with older people, their relatives, care staff and decision-makers. Participatory observations of various forms of care work and survey studies to staff and local politicians. We do policy and discourse analyzes, as well as analysis of public statistics. Examples of theoretical perspectives used in our research include feminist critical theory, intersectionality, working life-oriented theory; theories of ethnicity and racialization as well as life course perspectives.