CIGEV, area gerontology: Research on Lifespan, Multidirectionality and Plasticity – Director: Matthias Kliegel

Vulnerable ageing

Projects in this research area:

Ageing Migrants’ Well-being

The project’s scope is to advance the state-of-the-art research in the area of ageing migrants, local welfare regimes and care provisions.

Factors of Mortality in Old Age in Switzerland (FaMOS)

FaMOS is a project that explores the factors of mortality in old age in Switzerland using a dataset made up from the linkage of the VLV survey and the Swiss National Cohort.

Life Course Pathways of Cognitive Reserve

In this project we investigate vulnerable ageing in cognitive functioning as a result of insufficient cognitive reserve accumulated over the life course.

The Impact of Stress on Cognition

The project examines the effects of stress on different cognitive abilities, with a particular focus on prospective memory. More specifically, different studies investigate the impact of both acute and chronic stress in younger and older adults.

Transnational Ageing among Older Migrants and Natives

The aim of the project is to systematically compare persons aged 65 and over who have experienced migration with those who have not experienced migration, and identify the similarities and differences between these groups as well as the source of differences. Furthermore, it is aimed to underpin the capacity and strategies of resilience among older populations. The project thus wants to understand how older persons, including migrants, develop transnational practices to overcome vulnerability.

Vulnerability in Old Age

The project tackles three goals: (1) It explores similarities and differences between older migrants and natives’ vulnerability. Too often, it is assumed that migrants are more vulnerable than natives. While the project does not aim to deny the situations of vulnerability among migrants, the goal is to explore how some can overcome vulnerability, and the reasons why others cannot. (2) It focuses on a particular type of vulnerability, loneliness: how older persons, including migrants, cope with it, and particularly the role of social ties to overcome it. (3) The project studies the impact of the welfare state at the destination on migrants’ vulnerability in old age, and the use of social networks to overcome it. For example, Switzerland’s liberal welfare state might make social networks in old age more important, while Luxembourg’s social democratic welfare state can make older persons less reliant on social networks.