The name Gerda originates from the Old Norse mythology and means “protection” or “the one who belongs to the farm”. In this case, nevertheless, GERDA stands for Gerontological Regional Database, i.e. the cross-border database on health and living conditions among older adults collected in Ostrobothnia and Southern Ostrobothnia in Finland, and Västerbotten in Sweden. In 2021, data will additionally be collected on the Åland Islands. GERDA is an interdisciplinary research collaboration meaning that health-related, medical as well as social aspects of aging are examined.
- Life style, health, and wellbeing (e.g. exercise, diet, physical and psychological resources, illness and disease)
- Identity (self-image and roles, e.g. retirement)
- Social change and community service (e.g. changes in community services, technological development)
- Occupation and activities (e.g. meaningful activities, hobbies, associations, volunteering)
- Social relations (social support, social networks, continuity etc.)
- Economy (objective and perceived economy)
- Autonomy and dependency (e.g. mobility, care needs)
- Existential meaning and loneliness (e.g. meaning in life, religiosity, spirituality)
GERDA has its background in the Umeå 85+ project that started already in the year 2000 in Northern Sweden. Umeå 85+ focused primarily on medical and rehabilitative aspects, but was developed and expanded over time. The project was first followed by the project Äldre i Botnia (Older adults in the Bothnia region) which included activities in both Sweden and Finland and thereafter by the EU-funded project GERDA – Gerontological Regional Database. In 2009, the GERDA Botnia-project received funding for another three-year-period. The project group has since then received funding for additional data collections: home visits in 2015-2017 and survey data in 2016 and 2021. You can find more information of the data that has been collected over the years under the tab Data collections.
How has the collected information been used?
The data has been used for scientific articles, doctoral theses, and master theses. More information about the publications can be found in the section publications. Information from the data collections have also been used in teaching and in teaching materials. Additionally, The TV-series “Sveriges bästa äldreboende” [The best nursing home in Sweden] and ”Sveriges bästa hemtjänst” [The best home care in Sweden] were created based on information from GERDA.
Results and data from Umeå 85+ and GERDA have also been used in the development, and in the execution of other research projects.
The aim of the AgeMin-project was to study social inclusion among older adults from a minority perspective. GERDA data was used to examine changes in trust and changes in loneliness among older adults as well as to examine active ageing.
Silver MONICA (2016-2019)
The objective of Silver MONICA was to study the role of living conditions and health in middle age for a good and active aging. The participants of Silver MONICA consisted of individuals living in Västerbotten and Norrbotten in Sweden who were 80 years and older, and who had previously participated in the MONICA study.
The overall objective of the MIDRED-study is to evaluate a person-centered, multidimensional, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation program for community dwelling older people with dementia. MIDRED examines whether the program is able to reduce the negative consequences and thereby increase the proportion of people with dementia living at home after two and three years, i.e. delay the move to residential care facilities.
The aim of the UMDEX study was to evaluate effects of a high-intensity functional exercise program in older people with dementia. Among the outcomes of interest were activities of daily living (ADL), falls, cognitive and physical function, and depressive symptoms.
Hemma i Botnia [At home in the Bothnia region] (2012-1013)
The aim of the project was to create a model and a tool for increasing the possibilities for older adults to be able to continue living at home through among other things preventive home visits. GERDA data was used when developing the model.
GERDA research center:
Högskolestiftelsen i Österbotten
GERDA survey 2021:
Svensk-Österbottniska Samfundet, Högskolestiftelsen i Österbotten, Vaasa Aktia Foundation, the Swedish Cultural Foundation, the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, and the government of Åland
GERDA survey 2016:
The Harry Schauman Foundation, the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, Svensk- Österbottniska Samfundet r.f., Vaasa Aktia Foundation, the Royal Skyttean Society, Letterstedtska Association, and the Swedish Research Council (grant: K2014–99X-22610–01–6).
GERDA home visits 2015-2017:
The Swedish Research Council (K2014-99X-22610-01-6)
Ageing well in Kvarken 2014:
2009-2012 GERDA Botnia:
Interreg Botnia-Atlantica (304-200809348), the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, Umeå kommun, Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Åbo Akademi och Umeå Universitet.
Interreg IIIA, Kvarken MittSkandia (IKM 3.4 20-03), the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, the Federation of Swedish Municipalities in Ostrobothnia for Education and Culture, Umeå municipality, Äldrecentrum Västerbotten, Åbo Akademi University, University of Vaasa, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Umeå University.