HomeResearchProjectsLongitudinal Study: Ageing Well in the Basque Country

Longitudinal Study: Ageing Well in the Basque Country


 Principal investigator:
Elena del Barrio
Gloria Domínguez, Sara Marsillas y María Victoria Zunzunegui

This longitudinal study will monitor the Basque population aged 70 and over residing in the community. It will examine the same people over an extended period of time to analyse the ageing process, assess changes, and understand the differences between the different groups. Only a population-based study with a longitudinal design can examine the process and determinants of ageing well, integrating the demographic and social changes that will take place over the next decade. This means that it is the only way to know what causes influence the type of ageing of individuals.

This knowledge is essential to guide the planning and organisation of social and health services, long-term care and housing alternatives, among other aspects, in order to optimise the conditions for good ageing.

Main objetive:

To describe the ageing processes of people over 70 years of age in the Basque Country in order to draw up guidelines based on the results for public policies that favour good ageing.

Specific objectives:

  • To identify the ageing trajectories of the population over 70 in the Basque Country.
  • To find out the contextual determinants of the opportunities for ageing well, with special attention to housing and neighbourhood environments and health and social services.
  • To map out care pathways and their relationship with ageing well.
  • To analyse the influence of age discrimination, victimisation, and attitudes towards ageing on the chances of ageing well.

Implementation phases

2022 – Design // 2023 – Pilotage // 2024 – First recollecting


Basque Government. Tractor project of the Basque Strategy with the elderly (2021-2024).


In order to design the longitudinal study, a qualitative study was carried out beforehand, interviewing 37 older people in the Basque Country of different ages, sexes and contexts. The study explored in depth what it means for older people to age well, how they currently feel and how they would like to continue ageing, paying attention to the resources and limitations they have to do so.

From the discourses of the older people, the most important dimensions of study have been detected, which will be measured in the longitudinal study. Among them, the following should be highlighted:

  • Health: the pathways of frailty that determine care needs.
  • Care: the specific care needs and the resources available.
  • Environment: housing, neighbourhood or contact with the neighbourhood.
  • Social fabric and loneliness: including the social network available and perceived and objective loneliness.
  • Participation: older people's participation in social, leisure, care, voluntary work and employment activities.
  • Financial resources: income, savings, financial transfers.
  • Age discrimination: perceived ageism and self-inflicted ageism.



Project status

In progress


María Victoria Zunzunegui Expert in Epidemiology
Sara Marsillas
Sara Marsillas Researcher
Elena del Barrio
Elena del Barrio Co-director - Researcher

Collaborating institutions

Funding body: