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International Scientific and Educational Laboratory for Technologies of Improvement of Wellbeing of Older Adults

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As of 01.11.2022

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scientific publications
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General information

Name of the project: Evaluation and improvement of social, economic and emotional well-being of elderly people. Institutes of fulfilment of the resource potential of the older generation. Development of a complex system for assessment of inequality of the elderly people and design of tools for their viability.

Goals and objectives

Research directions:

  • Developing conceptual understanding pf nature and components of evaluating economic, social and emotional well-being
  • Developing a system for complex assessment of social, economic and emotional wellbeing of elderly people
  • Developing practical recommendations and solutions to enhance wellbeing of elderly people by forming model of favorable space
  • Justifying necessity, possibility and practicability of substitution of the sustained stereotype of «lonely old age» for well-being of old age persons as a result of active social and economic engineering

  • Development of a concept of engagement of people of the older generation into the regional community
  • Development of a new complex system for assessment of inequality among the elderly people
  • Development of efficient institutes for implementation of the resource potential of the older generation in the economy of ageing.

Project objective: Establishing methods and directions of implementing state policies improving well-being of elderly people.

The practical value of the study

Scientific results:

  1. We have developed a concept, a structural and functional multi-level model has been created for the assessment of the economic, social, emotional well-being of senior individuals based on integrating subjective estimates and objective indicators. The model has been represented at a system and practical level and extends the theoretical understanding of the essence and content of this multi-aspect phenomenon (2014–2015).
  2. A unique unprecedented comprehensive system has been developed for assessing and measuring the social, economic and emotional well-being, it is built upon unity, initial dependence and complementarity of methodologies and technologies for evaluating the physical, emotional, social and economic status of an individual. The developed system allows to assess well-being at various levels – individual subjective well-being, well-being of social groups, the well being of the population of the region, the national well-being. The technology for measuring well-being is a combination of methodologies for evaluating separate components of physical, emotional, economic and social status of elderly people accounting for the effect of parameters of the environment, it allows  for an integral understanding of the well-being of the elderly. This technology allows to conduct research both at the level of a single individual and at the level of social communities. The technology features the successive application of methods of diagnostics of physiological processes with the use of noninvasive medical assessment technologies, psychological testing using European methodologies as well as sociological surveys, which suggests not only the assessment of a current psychological state but also the study of a wide range of social, economic parameters (income, employment, property, social status etc.). The developed technology allows to conduct screening research as well as to monitor the state of the well-being of the elderly with the participation of target groups on the grounds of treatment and prevention organizations, medical and social help centers, social services institutions or at home, which is especially important for individuals with significant physical limitations, since the technology is based on the use of mobile devices and diagnostic appliances as well as modern information technologies. Within the Laboratory’s scientific research, this technology is also used in the projects «Gym Central» and «Life Share» (2017–2018).
  3. We have developed a sociological toolkit that allows to determine the hierarchy of needs of elderly people that is used in further academic efforts (2015). To test and implement the created system, we conducted a large-scale sociological survey in Tomsk Oblast (1200 respondents). As part of this research, we started the main parameters of well-being of elderly people of the region (consumer behavior, financial aspects, participating in social communities, impact of life conditions on well-being, the main problems and contradictions in ensuring a high level of life satisfaction).
  4. On the basis of the methodology of expert seminars developed by the research team of the Laboratory, we have conducted a series of scientific and expert seminars «Social policies and quality of life of elderly people» (2016-2018), which attracted representatives of the senior generation and of state social welfare bodies. The participants of the scientific and expert seminars determined the main features of a high level of well-being, elaborated the main barriers and the basic tools for implementing social policies aimed at increasing the well-being of the senior population of Tomsk Oblast.
  5. Recommendations have been developed for regional government bodies to support the senior population aimed at increase the efficiency of social policy. The recommendations are based on legislative act regulating the parameters of providing social services to elderly people in Russia, results of empirical and sociological research performed by the laboratory (International Research and Education Laboratory of Improvement for the Improvement of Technologies for the Well-being of the Elderly) for 2014–2018, rely on the results of an analysis of best regional practices of supporting elderly people and the global experience. The recommendations outline suggestions for the information support of elderly people in the context of ensuring a person-oriented approach to lonely elderly people, recommendations for improving  the quality of medical services provided to lonely elderly people, recommendations for increasing their financial well-being. Special focus was placed on developing the «aging culture» and continuing education (legal education, computer skills).
  6. A methodology has been developed for sociological research to determine factors of loneliness of elderly people, a questionnaire for a sociological survey and a procedure of the sociological survey.
  7. Methodological recommendations have been developed for the implementation of programs and projects for improving quality of life and well-being on the basis of engaging senior citizens in business and social communications; for the evaluation of the social and economic efficiency of engagement trajectories of elderly people in the regional society; for the comprehensive assessment of the effect of social and economic factors on the life expectancy of the population of the region. A methodology for assessing quality of life from the standpoint of the realization of the resource potential of the elderly generation in the context of the aging economics. These developments have a high theoretical and methodological potential for the modernization of the social infrastructure for supporting the life quality of the elderly people of Tomsk Oblast and can become the basis for practical recommendations aimed at the information support of elderly people; improving their material well-being; engaging elderly people in social and economic activities.
  8. We have developed Recommendations to increase the extent of the realization of the resource potential of the elderly generation in the aging economy. The Recommendations were formed in five blocks: in the domain of of employment across age categories (for individuals of pre-retirement age and active retirement age); in the social domain, oriented towards social support institutions and (or) performed by the elderly; in the area of independent, healthy and safe living; in the domain of possibilities of creating a favorable environment for active longevity; generalized recommendations for realizing the resource potential of elderly people. Each of the recommendations meets various demands of senior citizens determined during the staged research. Recommendations for regional and municipal governing bodies, members of the business community and non-government organizations for modernizing the social infrastructure for ensuring a high quality of life for elderly people.
  9. Our researchers have developed a concept and a design layout of the Journal for elderly people. The conceptual model of the Journal is based on the theory of reconstructing memories (reminiscence) as a means for increasing the activity of cognitive processes, and brain functions, which allows to strengthen the link between neurons, preventing forgetfulness and loss of identity due to dementia. 

Implemented results of research:

  • The Laboratory has developed tools, a model and a software platform of a social network that allow to interpret these aspects of the life of elderly people that are important for them. We have implemented software products (GymCentral) –  a virtual fitness club for elderly people with an adapted physical training program to maintain tonus in their skeletal muscles. The efficiency of the implementation of the model and the platform of the social network is controlled not only using usability testing that is traditional information technologies , but also using modern medical technologies aimed at the assessment and measurement of the physiological state of the organism (stabilography). The software has been published on the Google Play application store. It is aimed at training elderly people to use modern computer technologies (touchpad data entry, receiving information from screens etc.), as well as to form knowledge on healthy lifestyles, on methods of increasing physical activity, ability to perform a sparing physical activity program, skills of assessing achieved results, exchanging information on their achievements with other users of the application. The training functions of the software product allow to overcome lack of confidence and concerns in elderly people, ensuring positive motivation to use computer technologies in everyday life.
  • Our researchers have designed tools for assessing time perspective of the future: a methodology for sociological studies and a questionnaire for assessing Future Time Perspective (FTP). Future time prospects is one of the tools for assessing the importance of the meaning of life to elderly people, which is an integral part of longevity-oriented behavior. This tool includes a complex of self-assessment parameters: cognitive ability, feeling and actions with respect to the future. These is a serious gap in the assessment of future time perspective of elderly people in Russia. To eliminate this gap, we created, for the first time in history, a Russian questionnaire and validated it over a Russian data set (N=160, age 20–85+).
  • To extend the factographic database on the basis of regular evaluations of the quality of life of  elderly people, we have developed the Russian Elderly Well-being Index (REWI) that allows to assess the well-being of the elderly from the standpoint of ranking regions to compare them against each other (2017). Relying on REWI, we propose regular monitoring of regions of Russia in terms of quality of life parameters of the elderly, ranking governors by their efficiency.
  • We have developed a conceptual model of the Storygram project. The basic idea of the project extends the concept of the Journal  in terms of the use of social networks to strengthen relations between generations (grandchildren and grandmothers or grandfathers). A scientific research protocol and a sociological toolkit have been developed, we gathered old photos and published them on the VK.com social network, as well as conducted a preliminary survey of grandchildren). In this research we used the IOS, NRI–RQV and IMS scales, as well as the FCQ questionnaire. We found limitations in the course of the implementation of the Storygram project — the Instagram of the past broadcasted in real time, aimed at establishing contacts among elderly people. The algorithms of Storygram and Journal, created with the use of crowdsourcing, have a high potential for wide practical applications. They are efficient tools for implementing  recollection therapy, preventing the onset of dementia, they allow to strengthen social links between generations, accumulate and preserve the memory of generations, reinforcing  confidence of elderly people in their significance and usefulness (2017–2018).
  • Our researchers have designed a model of a recommendation service in the form an electronic resource for reinforcing resilience in elderly people. In the domain of income, users are offered materials concerning searching for jobs, financial literacy and safety. Social connections can be intensified by participation in projects of the Tomsk Academy of Active Longevity (TAAL), Veterans Council of Tomsk Oblast. Subjective health also demonstrates a high correlation with the level of viability over a Tomsk data set (,442**), therefore resources for health support should be presented in a model of this service (phone numbers of hotlines for medical support, vaccination, drug supply in the region), the Regional Office for the Support of the Elderly. Feedback from elderly people testing a prototype of the model of the recommendation service turned out to be generally positive. The structure of the service will be later amended with a feedback form and a bulletin board to support the crowdsourcing of information on events, practice classes that can be interesting to elderly people.
  • The Laboratory has created a unique database called «Main parameters of the quality of life of the senior generation of Tomsk Oblast» (XLSX 5230 KB) formed not only on the basis of macro- and micro data from open sources (Federal State Statistics Service — Rosstat, Interdepartmental Statistical Information System, Complex Observation of Living Conditions), Tomsk Statistics Service, HSE University), but also on the results of a series of conducted quantitative and qualitative sociological studies, which were supported by the Russian Science Foundation, to study the realization of the resource potential of the elderly generation of Tomsk Oblast, scientific and expert seminars that engaged representative of the elderly generation and employees of public governance bodies of all levels, social services, NGOs etc. We obtained the Certificate of state registration of a database No. 2021621757 «Database of the main parameters of the quality of life of the elderly generation of Tomsk Oblast in 2019–2020» from the results  of the performed project.
  • We have developed and tested an interactive system for visualizing the results of the project in the form of a web application and it is a website that includes a database of the modules of the site and the statistical indicators used to calculate the Russian Elderly Well-Being Index. The system for visualizing the results of the project is available to all interested researchers and practitioners. Our work on the visualization system has already allowed to attract interest form the public to problems of the well-being of  the elderly generation: the project of federal importance «To be precise» (subproject «Aging in Russia»).
  • Employees of the Laboratory supervised 17 grants in 2014–2022), 10 by the Russian Foundation for the Humanities–Russian Foundation for Basic Research, one grant from the Russian Foundation  for Basic Research for postgraduate students, one Russian Foundation for Basic Research–Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences, Erasmus+, Russian Science Foundation (3), STINT (2021, Sweden, Jönköping University).
Education and career development:
  • Four Doctor of Sciences dissertations, 8 Candidate of Sciences dissertations, 2 PhD theses have been prepared and defended.
  • 5 new education courses have been compiled and integrated into the education process.
  • 10 monographs, 2 textbooks and 2 study guides have been prepared in the domain of our research.
  • Members of the academic team of the Laboratory have prepared and implemented the additional training programs «Ensuring the well-being of the elderly generation: the international experience» in our area of studies (72 hours), in which 100 people have completed training, among whom were young researchers and professionals working in social services and tutors from other organizations (2015–2018).
    We conducted the academic summer school «UniverCiTerra–2015» for students of leading foreign universities (more than 80 participants, 2014–2016).
    Every year we organize defenses of graduation qualification works in the form of startups devoted to social and economic problems.
    More than 40 members of the academic team have completed occupational retraining and advanced training at leading international science and education centers in the domain of our research.
  • Relying on the competences and academic developments of the Laboratory’s team, three main education programs have been launched.
  • Participation in the implementation of National project «Demographics» in the advanced training program «Technologies of professional and personal growth and efficient communication» (72 hours).
  • We have organized and staged scientific events with the participation of 17 leading foreign researchers. The members of the academic team of the Laboratory conducted  International scientific symposium «Lifelong well-being in the world–WELLSO 2014–2018» and the scientific and expert seminar «Evaluation and improvement of social, economic and emotional well-being of older adults» (18–22 November 2014) in our field of studies.
  • We conducted two science and expert seminars «Quality of life of the elderly generation» with representatives of regional and municipal governing bodies, the committee for  the social protection of the population, the center fr the social support of the population, public organizations, researchers and manufacturers, members of councils of veterans and elderly people of various age brackets (2021).
  • The Laboratory has conducted round tables within science and practice conferences moderated by members of the Laboratory’s team.

Organizational and structural changes:

  • A center for additional education of elderly people has been created.
  • We have created the Lifelong Wellbeing initiative under supervision of F. Casati to sudsy best foreign practices in science and education.

Other results:

  • Research conducted by the Laboratory has been supported by grants from the Russian Humanities Scientific Foundation and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (15 projects) with overall funding amount of 16 million rubles.
  • We have completed an international contract for research for 38 thousand Euro.
  • We have completed 5 agreements with companies.
  • A special issue of the «Information Society» journal on the topic of our research (2015). The «Well-being: economics and society» series of the STT (Scientific and Technical Translations) publishing house. Editorial board of the series: G. A. Barysheva (chief editor), F. Casati, O. P. Nedospasova.


  • University of Trento (Italy): joint projects, defenses of PhD theses, an international commercial contract, an international symposium in Tomsk, an international summer school in Tomsk, postdoctoral studies.
  • Centre for Research on Ageing of the University of Southampton (United Kingdom):training in a master’s degree program.
  • University of Applied Sciences Ludwigshafen (Germany): training in a module of a bachelor”s degree program, advanced training, joint internships, an international symposium in Tomsk.
  • School of Health and Welfare of Jönköping University (Sweden):joint internships, joint sections at conferences (Tomsk, Saint Petersburg, Gothenburg (Sweden).
  • Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASC) and the School of Economics and Management of Hanoi University of Science and Technology (Vietnam): an international grant, a Russia–Vietnam grant shared by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences «Impact of regional and technological space on quality of life» (2019–2021).

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