Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study

Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study

The public discourse on extremely old age is usually centered around health issues, cognitive deficits, and loneliness – despite the fact that only a small number of national and international empirical studies have been conducted on the actual living situation and health status of extremely old people. These negative images of old age dominated by stereotypes lead to an incorrect assessment of this age group's needs – such as with regard to housing types and assistance in their day-to-day lives.

The main goal of the "Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study," supported equally by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Dietmar Hopp Stiftung, is to study the challenges as well as the strengths and areas of potential that characterize life at age 100. This empirical study provides information about the health and quality of life of centenarians in Germany. The study will present data on this group's psychological strengths and living strategies, their relationships with family members (including those that care for them), as well as their actual level of involvement in their social and local surroundings. One focus of the study is on the question of social and psychological factors and strengths that help centenarians successfully manage their day-to-day lives. The centenarians will provide information about their daily and recreational activities, their view of the future, as well as how they deal with death and dying.

By publishing the study's findings, we want to help orient society's prevailing view of old age more strongly around the empirical reality. We hope that the findings lead to a discussion about necessary, forward-looking decisions for extremely old people and that their needs are adequately addressed.

After the "Journalists' Image of Old Age," "Demographically Oriented Human Resource Management in Public Administration," and "Aging Trends in Different Cultures" studies, the "Second Heidelberg Centenarians Study" will be the fourth report in our "Old Age and Demographics" series.

From the "Second Heidelberg Centenarians Study" - Life at 100 Years of Age: Summary and Recommendations for Action (P. 63 – 65)
Daniela S. Jopp, Christoph Rott, Kathrin Boerner, Katrin Boch & Andreas Kruse (Hg.)  Zweite Heidelberger Hundertjährigen-Studie  Read and recommend


Brigitte Stähle
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-53