The Aging & Later Life research program (A&LL) aims to help people in The Netherlands grow old and be old in the best possible way, e.g. using a dynamic health approach in which older people and their relatives are supported in their ability to adapt and self-manage.

Program support: Joost Wammes & Josephine Lindhout

We investigate how individual and structural factors can affect the quality of life of older people

Mission and goals

Aging & Later Life is a multidisciplinary, cross-departmental research program. We focus on aging (growing old), the older person (being old), and the last years of life using the concepts: Resilience, Quality of Life and Personalized care.

The idea of resilience - "the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity" - focusses on older people’s capacity for responding to specific age-related tasks and transitions. As such, resilience recognizes older people’s innate strength, without establishing an absence of problems as the norm for a good old age.

For many older people, full physical health is often unachievable. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t experience a good quality of life. As the Aging & Later Life research program, we investigate how individual and structural factors can affect the quality of life of older people.

There is a growing awareness of individual differences in health effects or treatment results, and of the influential factors at play. We want our research to help provide deeper insights into what kind of care works for whom, and when, i.e. personalized care. Central to the Aging & Later Life research program are scientific quality and social impact. We therefore value interdisciplinary approaches, and strife for active collaboration with other faculties, field partners and educational institutions, as well as with older people themselves.

Program leaders

Program initiatives

Grey power meetings

On  June 1 , July 1  and September 14, 2021 (19:00-20:30 hrs) we organized three debate evenings for older people with the themes: loneliness, falling (vitality) and meaning & resilience. Each evening there were three invited speakers and one member of the A&LL client panel in the studio. The speakers presented the latest scientific knowledge on the field and afterwards they answered questions together with our panel member. The host for all the three evenings was Prof.dr. Julia van Weert, professor of Health Communication at University of Amsterdam.

The speakers for the theme loneliness were Dr. Bianca Suanet (Assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, Vrije Universitit Amsterdam), Prof. dr. Anja Machielse (professor of Empowerment of Vulnerable Older People at the University of Humanistic Studies) and Astrid van Ketel (Advisor Health and Wellbeing at GGD Amsterdam). This event took place on June 1. You can watch the recording here .

The speakers for the theme falls and vitality were: Prof. dr. Nathalie van der Velde, professor Geriatric Medicine, with focus on falls prevention at the Amsterdam UMC, Prof.dr. David van Bodegom, professor Vitality in an aging population at the Leiden University Medical Center and Drs. Saskia Kloet, project leader “Falls prevention in older people” at the Ministry of Health, Wellbeing and Sport and program manager at VeligheidNL.

The speakers for the theme meaning and resilience were Prof. dr. Martijn Huisman, professor Epidemiology of Aging at the Amsterdam UMC and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Dr. Crétien van Campen, researcher on Quality of Life at The Netherlands Institute for Social Research and Elisabeth van Oostrum – member of  Raad van Ouderen.

Urban Aging

The ambition of our research program is to work together with the city Amsterdam to develop an agenda for the next 5 years with innovation, research, technology and good education with respect to the aging population. With the aim to make impact for the older citizen of Amsterdam and perform (inter-)national innovative research.

Panel of older adults

To actively involve older people in our research, we started a panel of older adults. The persons in the panel will be asked to consult in research proposals, design, participation and communication of research results.

Program council

The program leaders of the Aging & Later Life research program chair the A&LL Program Council. This program council consist of a selection of senior researchers of the research program who meet regularly to implement or update the research program-specific strategy and to discuss anticipatory or reactive response to external events.

Program council members
Bianca Beersma Roeline Pasman
Bianca Buurman-van Es Susan de Rooij
Cees Hertogh Julia van Weert
Nathalie van der Velde Martijn Huisman

Junior council

The Aging & Later Life research program has installed an A&LL Junior Council that provides program leaders with solicited and unsolicited advice and helps them with the organization of research program-specific activities or events.

Junior council members
Sophie Renckens Martijn van Dompseler
Sara van de Schraaf Eline Kroeze
Esther de Groot Iris Beijer-Veenman
Isabelle Vullings

Research program members