Advancing Elderly People’s Agency and Inclusion in the Changing Arctic and Nordic Welfare

This project will increase our understanding of, and support for, the wellbeing, agency, and inclusion of older people living in the Nordic Arctic. It pays special attention to members of diverse cultural minorities and gender.

The focus is on how older women and men experience their own wellbeing and agency in relation to their social welfare needs and entitlements. Specifically, we examine how evolving Nordic welfare regimes affect the welfare experiences and wellbeing of diverse groups of Arctic elderly, and whether ageism plays a role in how services are perceived and delivered. The project seeks to promote ways in which older people can have their voices heard and can become active in their communities and in the maintenance of their rights.

The methods follow from the purposes of the study. We will engage older women and men from diverse groups as participants in an exploration of their perceived needs whether these are met or unmet and how this relates to their agency and social inclusion. We will discuss what concerns need to be addressed and how.

We will facilitate ongoing networking among stakeholders and older people in response to this new knowledge as it emerges. These stakeholders in older people’s welfare and wellbeing include those from local communities and multiple levels of governmental and non-governmental agencies within the Nordic region. They will be able to use this networking and the findings of the study to develop innovative policies and educational initiatives.

The project investigated ageing and gender in the Nordic Arctic in light of demographic change, equality and social justice. The research addressed gaps in knowledge about specific vulnerabilities linked to age, gender, functional capacity and indigeneity. Key findings were published in Ageing and gender in the Nordic Arctic and New Challenges to ageing in the Rural North

Applicant: Päivi Naskali, Professor, Unit of Gender Studies, University of Lapland, Finland

Countries: Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Estonia

Project start 2016, expected to be finalized in 2019.

Copyright pictures: Benjamin Suomela /