Ageing and Health

Ageing and Health

The current lengthening of the human lifespan is unprecedented in the history of humanity. The transformations that go along with this phenomenon have multiple impacts in terms of living conditions, health and care.

The ageing of population: a challenge to take

The ageing of the population comes with the emergence of new strengths and new strains. The health advances achieved to date have allowed people to live longer and in better health. Life prospects have expanded tremendously, as has the potential for interpersonal exchange.

A cultural and social health phenomenon

Living longer means that seniors may have to deal with new situations and various sorts of problems:

  • Appearance of various physiopathological problems, descent into chronicity, development of multimorbidity or mental health problems requiring adaptive efforts
  • Reduction or loss of autonomy and independence requiring care and assistance structures
  • Loss of social and family ties marking personal trajectories requiring housing options and life structures for ageing seniors
  • Life courses and end-of-life situations requiring complex care

In the private sphere as in the professional sphere, our relationship to ageing raises questions that are at once personal and collective, health- and policy-related, and professional and societal. The Aging and Health Laboratory (AH LAB) addresses these different dimensions in its curricula and through its field research and partnerships with professional practice settings.


Elder care involves interventions that are based on multiple competencies and that are provided over an extended period of time. The AH LAB approaches these issues from two angles:

1) knowledge and knowhow transfer to care practices and assistance in geriatric and psychogeriatric settings;

2) updating of knowledge and knowhow in undergraduate and post-graduate nursing curricula.

Topics of interest

The following topics constitute the areas of expertise of the researchers and teachers at the AH LAB:

  • Elder maltreatment
  • End-of-life dementia
  • Ageing in place alone
  • Gerontechnologies and other services, products and action projects to assist ageing seniors
  • Integration of family carers of seniors within hospital settings
  • Quality of life of seniors in nursing homes
  • Implementation of evidence-based practices
  • Analysis of scope of practice of nursing
  • Management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia


Researchers at the AH LAB contribute to scientific and professional journals and to non-profit community publications, and can be seen and heard regularly in audio-visual media. Articles generated by research conducted at the LAB are featured in journals focusing on specific topics such as maltreatment, geriatrics and mental health, and in journals focusing on specific disciplines such as nursing, human and social sciences, and gerontology.

A multidisciplinary team

A team of teachers who exercise their pedagogical competencies with a view to connecting theory and practice

Researchers trained in applied academic research possessing competencies in a variety of disciplines, including nursing, psychology, anthropology, sociology, education, ethics and public health

Field partners

Our field partners include geriatricians, clinical nurses, long-term care providers (nursing homes, home care agencies), healthcare managers, technicians, instructors and ethicists operating in geriatric and psychogeriatric settings.

Education programmes

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The undergraduate modules taught by AH LAB members cover nursing care for seniors from multiples angles. They prepare students to address and take responsibilities regarding complex situations related to ageing. Students are guided to think about nursing practice in a reflective manner and to refer to studies based on the latest measures in order to propose the best possible care offer that takes account of each senior’s particularities. Completing the curricula are practicums offered in geriatric settings. These give students the chance to exercise their learning in a present-day, real-world professional context.

Post-graduate continuing professional development in the field of ageing

  • DAS in Health and Ageing
    Head: Pia Coppex
  • Module: Elder maltreatment–forensic aspects and care
    Co-Head: Delphine Roulet-Schwab
    Co-Head: Nathalie Romain-Glassey, Violence-Related Medicine Unit, Swiss Romand Centre for Forensic Medicine, Department of Community Health and Medicine, CHUV
  • Module: Psychiatry of ageing and team assistance
    Head: Claudia Ortoleva Bucher

Services provided

In geriatric settings and addressing issues related to ageing

The collaboration between the La Source School of Nursing and geriatric nursing care settings in the Canton of Vaud goes back many, many decades. The members of the LAB respond to specific requests from educational and care institutions. The services provided afford the opportunity to transfer expertise in the management of seniors no longer autonomous and to share knowledge and know-how with practitioners in the field. The LAB may also be solicited as a partner in institutional projects that make use of elder health resources.


To fulfill its education and research missions as best possible, the LAB counts on local and regional partners from the clinical, non-profit and university spheres:

  • Association alter ego
  • Association broyarde pour la promotion de la santé et le maintien à domicile (ABSMAD)
  • Association est vaudoise pour la santé et le maintien à domicile (ASANTE SANA)
  • Association de défense et de loisirs retraités et futurs retraités (AVIVO)
  • Association ouest lausannois pour la prévention et le maintien à domicile (APREMADOL)
  • Association vaudoise d’établissements médico-sociaux (AVDEMS)
  • DomoSafety SA
  • EMS Fondation de l’Orme, Lausanne
  • EMS Home Salem, St-Légier
  • EMS Les Pins, Lausanne
  • EMS La Vernie, Crissier
  • Fondation La Côte
  • Haute école de Santé Vaud (HESAV)
  • Haute école de Santé Genève
  • Fondation Soins Lausanne (FSL)
  • Haute école de travail social et de la santé (HETS & SA-EESP)
  • Institut universitaire de formation et de recherche en soins (IUFRS)
  • Institution Genevoise de Maintien à Domicile (imad)
  • Pro Senectute Genève
  • Pro Senectute Vaud
  • Service universitaire de psychiatrie de l’âge avancé–Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (SUPAA-CHUV)
  • Service des assurances sociales et de l’hébergement (SASH)