New centre in Aarhus Municipality established in collaboration with Aarhus BSS

Aarhus BSS is establishing the Centre for Quality of Life together with Aarhus Municipality and is looking for psychologists who want to contribute to developing the centre.

2016.05.04 | Tine Bagger Christiansen

Aarhus BSS is establishing the Centre for Quality of Life together with Aarhus Municipality. Photo: Aarhus Municipality

The Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS is collaborating with the Magistrate Department for Health and Care in the City of Aarhus with the aim of establishing a Centre for Quality of Life.  The purpose is to develop a foundation for helping the elderly increase their quality of life - e.g. by offering them existentialist dialogue sessions with a psychologist. To begin with, the centre will offer help  to people living in nursing homes, and later on, also to people who are receiving help from the home care system.

The centre will be manned by four psychologists financed by the Municipality of Aarhus and in addition, a professorship in geropsychology will be co-financed by the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS and will carry our specific tasks at the centre.

The task of the centre
The centre will study the quality of life among elderly people and will make use of the latest research in the field combining it with practise. This will be done through existentialist dialogue sessions with psychologists and a follow-up from the other employees at Health and Care. The aim is to increase the joie de vivre and the mental robustness of the elderly.

“Many elderly people are weighed down by feelings of regret, sadness and thoughts about death, and just like the rest of us, they can benefit greatly from working with their emotions. Some might even have an untreated depression, which is difficult to spot for the care workers.  That’s why its important that we also upgrade the professional level of the employees, so that the elderly can get the necessary treatment,” says Lars Larsen, associate professor at the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Aarhus BSS.

Expected results
Research shows that existential dialogue sessions with a psychologist improve the quality of life for the elderly. The goal is that the people who agree to take part in the sessions will think more positively, get fewer symptoms of depression, be better equipped to deal with their regrets in life, increase their robustness, feel less lonely and become more at ease with the idea of their life coming to an end.

People who are currently taking psychoactive drugs are expected to decrease their drug consumption. The centre will be conducting research into whether or not this actually happens. In addition, the centre will study whether the initiative has the prevented effect which is expected when targeting the efforts at the origins of the crisis and establishing a collaboration between e.g. prevention consultants and the citizens’ network and the general practitioners.

The employees at Health and Care play a key role. The psychologists must develop the competences of the employees and provide them with simple tools to consolidate the existential well-being of the citizens. Tools which enhance the quality of life and bring the resources of the individual citizen into play. The goal is to achieve the best physical, mental and social level of function for the individual - with more positive emotions and a greater feeling of well-being and satisfaction in life.  

The four new psychologists will be appointed in May 2016, and the centre must be ready to open on 1 August 2016. 

Research news