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Research areas

Danish Aging Research Center

The Last Years of Life
- Health, Treatment, and Well-Being

Kaare Christensen

Based on existing interview and register data on the Danish birth cohorts 1895, 1905, 1910, and 1915 (Rasmussen et al., 2013), and the Danish Twin Registry, which comprises twins born since 1870 (Skytthe et al., 2013), we will elucidate the development in health, functioning, social network, and well- being among 70+-year-olds during the last years of their life in the period 1995-2015, classified according to sex, educational level and socioeconomic conditions. The large amount of interview- and register data will, furthermore, be used to identify factors with a positive association with health, functioning, social network, and well-being in the last years of life. This knowledge can be used in the effort to ensure more good years of life to more people. Further information

The Last Years of Life 
- Health Care Patterns in General Practice

Frans Boch Waldorff & Jens Søndergaard

By using qualitative research methods including interviews with GPs, old patients and their relatives, we will get an insight into their interpretation of the concept of well-being and how they have experienced that well-being, frailty and disease management have changed over the last few decades. The results of these analyses will be linked to the results and registers obtained in the Public Health Science work package. 

Based on Danish national registers, we will analyze diagnoses, indicators of quality and use of healthcare services provided to people in the last years of life for the period 1995-2015. We will focus on the importance of socioeconomic factors, gender, geography, demography and comorbidity. Further, we will analyse to what degree factors linked to the individual general practice can explain some of the variation in diagnosis, indicators of quality and use of healthcare services. Further information

The results obtained in this work package will feed into recommendations for improval of services provided by General Practice to old patients in the last years of their lives.


Late Life Fiction 
- Health, Treatment and Well-Being in Elderly Characters in Contemporary Literature

Peter Simonsen & Anne-Marie Mai

Tendencies and moods in society are often captured in literature long before they are analyzed in quantitative research. The work package will focus specifically on the representation of elderly citizens’ last years of life in Scandinavian and Anglophone novelistic fictions over the last decades with these questions in mind:

What types of patients and diseases are seen? How are meetings between the elderly patient and the health care system (doctor, nurse, therapist, place) described in relation to the question of treatment? How is the relationship between the elderly patient and his/her relatives described? How does literature imagine well-being for elderly literary patients? And how does this image of the elderly literary patient correspond with the image that is produced in the work packages in Public Health Science and General Practice?

An understanding of these issues seen through the literary lens will help point toward new and important research directions for the quantitative research. Further information



The Danish Aging Research Center was established in 2008 through a 5-year grant from the VELUX FOUNDATION. An additional 25 million DKK was granted from the same foundation in 2013 to conduct aging research in cognitive ability among the elderly over the coming 5-year period.

The VILLUM FOUNDATION and the VELUX FOUNDATION are non-profit foundations established in 1981 by Villum Kann Rasmussen, the founder of the VELUX Group and other business enterprises in the VKR Group, whose mission is to bring daylight, fresh air and a better environment into people’s everyday lives.