Age structure, life expectancy, networking potential and resilience of networks of ageing physically and mentally handicapped people
Researcher Prof. Dr. Frank Schulz-Nieswandt, Dipl.-Ges.-Ök. Saskia Wölbert (Seminar für Sozialpolitik, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät) in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Holger Pfaff and Dipl. Soz.-Wiss. Elke Driller (Zentrum für Versorgungsforschung, Medizinische Fakultät)
Project Description Presently, the structural composition of persons living in social institutions for the disabled, is changing: The inhabitants are growing older due to improved health care provisioning and a wide range of comprehensive offers concerning lifelong learning and training programs reaching far beyond retirement age. Neighbouring countries like the Netherlands already report a significant elder age distribution (one third of the inhabitants are over 60 years old). Thus, the life expectancy of disabled persons is expected to converge with the one of persons without disabilities or with disablities acquired late. In order to adopt the services at an early stage to the changing sociodemographic characteristics of people with disabilities, social institutions require valid and representative data about those people for their restructuring processes and the adjustment of living and working conditions. Currently, there is no sufficient data available in Germany. The available data remain insufficient despite of promising beginnings in the early 90s (MUGSLA-Study). While the change of the demographic situation of the entire population is a popular topic, there is little evidence on the situation of people with disabilities. This is especially true for the elder persons. Existing evidence, e.g. the German Official Severe Disability Statistics and the annual panel study “Sozio-Oekonomisches Panel” is not reliable regarding important characteristics. Conclusions regarding the inhabitants of social institutions cannot be drawn. This project aims to fill that gap of evidence. In doing so, the view of the inhabitants will be accounted for. People with disabilities, their relatives and the heads of the social institutions are directly addressed.

Using quantitative and qualitative research methods as well as scientific reports the following aims are pursued:
  • to update the data basis
  • to illustrate the impact of age and the social network on the utilization of services of social institutions
  • to draw data-driven conclusions on social consequences
Funding A start-up funding from the Zentrum für Empirische Sozial- und Wirtschaftsforschung was used to write the project proposal. The project itself is financed by the Bruesseler Kreis, a cooperation of eleven large Protestant and Catholic social institutions in Germany.
Data Quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interviews and focus group discussions) data will be collected from selected social institutions of the Bruesseler Kreis. People with disabilities, their relatives and the heads of social institutions will be addressed.
  • analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
  • providing additional expertises of selected issues
Veröffentlichungen Projektskizze