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HEAP - Health promoting Environments for an Aging Population

A register and GIS study to assess effects of urban green and low-noise neighborhoods on social service and nursing home

This study will investigate the possible effects of health-promoting environments on utilization of home care, using current neighborhood as well as the place of residence five and ten years earlier, respectively. Furthermore, whether the neighborhood environment affects the risk of moving to a nursing home.

Project group

Study period


Funding body

FORMAS (2019-01933)

Documents and links


Impact of Sociodemographic Factors on Use of Formal Social Services in an Older Swedish Population (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12526)

Background: In Sweden, societal support for older people is the responsibility of the municipalities. However, due to Sweden’s current aging-in-place policy for older people, there is a need to assess how the use of such services varies based on sociodemographic factors. The aim of this study was to describe the use of different forms of social services and institutional long-term care (ILTC) in an older population and to evaluate the impact of sociodemographic factors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional register-based study, including all individuals aged 65 years and older in two Swedish municipalities in 2010, 2015, and 2019. The study analyzed the use of social services and ILTC in relation to sex, place of birth, cohabitation status, and type of housing. Results: Women, those born in Sweden, and those living in an apartment were more likely to receive assistance than men, those born abroad, or living in single family houses, respectively. People living alone were consistently more likely to have assistance, as well as ILTC. Conclusions: There may be a discrepancy between the individual’s need and the assistance provided from the municipality in certain sociodemographic groups in the older population in Sweden.

Sociodemographic Variations in the Availability of Urban Green Spaces in an Older Swedish Population (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12651)

Urban green spaces (UGS) can have a positive impact on health and thereby potentially ease the strain on the health care system. However, the availability and benefits seem to vary between different sociodemographic groups. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between sociodemographic factors and availability to UGS among people aged 65 years or older. Data on sociodemographic variables and residential coordinates were obtained for three cross-sectional cohorts in two cities (Malmö and Kristianstad) and three years (2010, 2015, and 2019). Three measures of urban green spaces; total (UGS), public (PGS) and quiet (QGS), within 300 m were used to determine availability. The results indicated higher availability to both total and publicly available urban green spaces for groups with lower socioeconomic status (SES) is positive from a health perspective. However, availability to high qualitative publicly available urban green spaces, from a noise perspective, was lower, indicating the opposite.