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Live Meaningfully – Toward Existential Wellbeing of the Older People

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024
School of Theology, Philosophical Faculty


Existential wellbeing of the older people

The number of elderly people is rapidly growing , and the younger generations do not identify the  existential needs or experiences about the meaning in life among older people. In addition, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the existential wellbeing of the older people has been challenged even more starting form 2020. Through quantitative and qualitative data, the project tackles these current questions about the experiences of the meaning in life of the older persons.

On of the project’s merit is translation and validation of the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire (SoMe) instrument for Finnish use. This scale for the psychology of religion is widely used in other Nordic countries and Europe, but there has not been a Finnish translation for the scale.  The project examines the religiosity and spirituality of the older people from the perspective of existential wellbeing. The project produces new information about which factors are significant to support the experience of meaning among older people. Since previous research shows that religious and spiritual struggles are strongly linked to crises of meaning, it is essential to know how older people experience these things in their lives.

The results benefit both local churches and pastoral care workers, but the information is very central to health care, where the aim is to provide comprehensive care and wellbeing for the aging population. Only by knowing, identifying and understanding the individual’s meaning system in depth is it possible to build a society and a service system to support the existential well-being of the elderly.