The research field “Human – Society” combines social and health science approaches in order to meet the opportunities and challenges of an ageing society in the health, care and social sectors. The focus of European funding in this area is directed towards integrated care concepts for older people (elder care) and is conceptually linked to the concept of well-being. This multi-dimensional concept does not separate medical, psychological and social aspects from each other, but connects them. At the Department, the still relatively strong separation of geriatric medicine, care and social work is to be overcome in practice by the required comprehensive and solution-oriented approaches. For this purpose, the long traditions of research on ageing, geriatrics and gerontology in Austria can be continued. A second overarching task is seen in establishing an appropriate picture of age in the specialist sciences and the practicing public, as otherwise the necessary changes will be systematically prevented. In this way, social and health-promoting services should distinguish themselves from older and younger approaches which focus on deficits, on the one hand, and take a firm stand against age discrimination and violence against older people, on the other hand. This also corresponds to the demands for more autonomy and activity on the part of older people, whereby approaches to integrated work and care for the elderly could be related to salutogenesis concepts.

Larger and smaller projects (ELLAN, LAiF, etc.) are already successful in this respect at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, whereby more transdisciplinarity will also be pursued in this field of research in the future. At the Department this could be substantiated in the following three research topics: Dementia, Activation and Civil Society.