In the years to come, elderly care will encounter great challenges. By the year 2050, Norway will have twice the number of people over the age of 65. This also means society must provide care for twice as many persons with dementia as today.

©PHOTOPQR/PRESSE OCEAN/ARNAUD JAFFRE. LA MAISON DE RETRAITE DU BOIS HERC A CHANTENAY (NANTES). ILLUSTRATION

Official reports draw attention to the urgent need for innovation within elderly care. It is not realistic for society to save its way out of the approaching situation. Rather, we must develop our way out of it, which is why research within this field is of such great importance.

Provision of high-quality services is of particular significance in elderly care, and the research group for Quality and Innovation in Elderly Care sees a clear need for mapping and describing the needs of elderly persons and their families, as well as examining to what extent these needs are prioritized by the health- and care services. Elderly care will especially be challenged in fields characterized by a high degree of service coordination, such as care for physically fragile individuals and for individuals with a complex medical situation. Coordination between family, volunteers and providers of welfare activities is also an area of interest for the research group.

The research group was established in 2012 and counts 16 researchers affiliated with the University College of Sogn og Fjordane (HiSF) and the Centre for Development of Institutional and Home Care Services in Sogn og Fjordane (USHT). The research group is led by Associate Professor Anne Marie Sandvoll at HiSF. The research group prioritizes practice-oriented research and development activities, which entails a high degree of collaboration with practitioners and student involvement. Consequently, many of the projects and undertakings of the research group are carried out in collaboration with Helse Førde and the Centre for Development of Institutional and Home Care Services.

The main objective of this research group is to build new knowledge on the contents of current elderly care, as well as the role of family members, and achieve a deeper understanding of these topics. As one of several sub-goals, the group wishes to contribute to increasing the status of the health and care services in society and to raising professional interest in low-priority patient groups. In this way, the research group hopes to contribute to the long-term development of municipal services for the elderly.

Selected R&D projects

Student research at nursing homes: In this project, students contribute to mapping the daily activities of elderly patients at nursing homes and thus contribute to developing useful knowledge on this group of elderly people. Project leader: Anne Marie Sandvoll.

Experiences from the old age psychiatry team: The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of how the services offered by the ambulant unit of the Indre Sogn Psychiatry Centre (ISP) are perceived by patients’ family members and by the primary health care. Project leader: Merete Dale.

Presenting the views of voluntary organizations and the public sector on cooperation and contribution to cultural projects for the elderly: One of the objectives of this project is to establish the usefulness of LEV VEL (active daily life) for the various parties involved. Project leader: Aud Berit Fossøy.

Day-time activities for people with dementia: The Centre for Development of Institutional and Home Care Services has engaged lecturer Toril Midtbø as a professional resource at a day-care centre in Førde for people with dementia. Her key function is to offer professional guidance regarding the activities offered at the centre.