The Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old – SWEOLD Covid-19

PI: Carin Lennartsson

Senior Lecturer in Social Gerontology

Older adults have been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mortality rates are highest in the oldest age groups and specific restrictions reducing older adults’ freedom of movement and activity. They are recommended to limit their physical contacts and visits to care homes have been banned.

This project provides a rare opportunity to study changes in older adults’ living conditions during the pandemic, such as physical and mental health, health related behaviours and social relations. We will also analyse how older adults have perceived and adhered to the flow of information and recommendations. The study design and sample will be based on the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old – SWEOLD. Using telephone interviews, questions directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be asked, as well as questions regularly included in the study.

SWEOLD follows a large number of people over time, is nationally representative of the population aged 76 and older, and includes both those living at home and those living in care homes. We will focus on how the pandemic affects various groups with different resources and
capabilities. By comparing data from previous years, we will analyse changes in living conditions during the pandemic. Results from the SWEOLD COVID-19 generate knowledge that is scientifically relevant and informative for social policy, thus useful for future pandemics
and crises – not least from an inequality perspective.

This project is funded by FORMAS.

Participating researchers

Lena Dahlberg, Neda Agahi, Janne Agerholm, Johan Fritzell, Josephine Heap, Erika Augustsson
See also: The SWEOLD group