The overall aim of AgeCap is to perform coordinated studies of capability in ageing. Capability refers to the individual’s ability to perform actions in order to reach goals he or she has reason to value. Factors on different levels of the person’s life form the basis for what that individual is capable of. Examples of factors on a macro level are laws and regulations that affect pensions, social security, labour market, home care, and health care. On a mesolevel, factors that influence capability include the context in which the daily life is embedded, e.g. socioeconomic, family life, social networks, caring facilities and obligations, health care and work. Finally, individual factors include genetic predispositions, neurobiology, personality, somatic, mental/cognitive health, life style and human capital (e.g education, acquired work skills, earning capacity).
The centre will conduct multidisciplinary studies and educational activities by bringing together researchers from medicine, psychology, social and health sciences for joint projects focusing on determinants of stability and change of capability. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used and projects focusing on secular changes, physical, cognitive and mental health, neurohealth, work and retirement, fraility, and self-determination will be included. Researchers at the centre and their networks already have access to major population-based longitudinal databases. The plan is to launch new intervention studies and longitudinal studies of new cohorts that allow us to cover the entire age span from 50 to over 100 years. Knowledge gathered through the centre will have broad applications ranging from political decision-making to individual well-being. The centre will also foster young researchers in multidisciplinary aging research. The ultimate goal is to strengthen older people’s capability to make choices that improves overall wellbeing and participation in society.