Aging Well in Post-Industrial Cities

Interviewing residents about their experiences, hopes, and worries for aging as a citizen of Oulu.


University of Oulu pop-up location at Kauppurienkatu, 90100 Oulu


Start: 24.05.2021
End: 24.05.2021


GeroNursing Center , Center for Life Course Health Research

The population in Europe, including in the region is ageing. This means that the proportion of people aged 65 and more is larger than the one of children below 5y and younger. This important change in the demographics has occurred worldwide in 2015 and even earlier in Finland. However, the society at large has yet to adapt to this rapid change and we can foresee multiple barriers and the opportunity to age well in Oulu.

Ageing is not something that can be defined as being old according to the chronological age of a person. It has been defined as a dynamic process that must consider health and well-being within the context of functioning. In other words, ageing well strongly depend on the quality of the environment we are living in, which include the social environment.

In addition, ageing well does not start when we get old. There is supporting evidence that ageing well is a life-course process and depends on many factors that happen in early life and during all other stages of the life-course.

Researchers of the University of Oulu GeroNursing Center at the Faculty of Medicine interviewed passers-by of their experiences, hopes and worries for aging as a citizen of Oulu. At the time of the event the City of Oulu did not restrict the amount of people in a public space, social distancing and masks were used. Researchers collected interview data according to these questions:

  • How did you imagine aging when you were a child? What were your experiences of aging and elderly care (for example of your grandparents then? Has aging gone according to expectations?
  • What are the biggest challenges for elderly care in Oulu?
  • What are the greatest possibilities for aging well in Oulu?


  • Total participants: 35
  • Total University Staff members: 6
  • Total representatives of societal stakeholder: 29

Data analysis was carried out by inductive content analysis. Data proved to be rich in meanings.The main challenges related to ageing in Oulu were:

  • Ageing related problems and issue
  • Insufficient or lack of (social and healthcare) services
  • Need for guidance and counselling
  • Need for non-electronic services or correspondingly help in e-services
  • Lack of activities, especially sport activities and group activities suitable for elderly
  • Transportation
  • Need for human contact


  • “It´s good to grow old in Oulu”
  • “The living environment is ideal”
  • “Excellent services in Oulu, no need to develop them, all good”
  • “The situation for the elderly is reasonably good, there are hobby opportunities”
  • “Your own (positive) attitude affects how you receive help from home care”


  • Sociality and social participation
  • Aging in place in good and safe environment
  • Independence and autonomy
  • Services
  • Wellbeing and self-realization


UNIC CityLabs


Ageing well

Type of Case

Engaged Research | Crowdsourcing



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