The Berlin research consortium “Autonomy despite Multi-morbidity in Old Age” (¬ ama) conducts research aimed at improving the quality of life of older people. A central part of its work is to analyse resources for older people suffering from multiple illnesses, disabilities or impaired function to maintain their independence and cope with everyday life.
The interdisciplinary research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the programme “Health in Old Age” and will initially run for three years (2008–2010).

In the project NEIGHBOURHOOD (Maintaining autonomy after a fall in socially disadvantaged quarters and neighbourhoods) researchers at the WZB in cooperation with the Institute for Gerontological Research (¬ IGF)  will analyse individual factors and community factors that determine whether socially disadvantaged old people suffering from multiple illnesses who live in disadvantaged areas manage to maintain their autonomy.
The community or social space perspective looks at barriers to and chances for maintaining autonomy for multi-morbid, socially disadvantaged older women and men in terms of the spatial and technical environment, the social environment, support infrastructures in their everyday lives and health-care provision as well as the links between these different aspects.
At the individual level the project will look at which gender- and milieu-specific resources are available to multi-morbid women and men who need to reorganise their care and support as a consequence of a serious fall.
The study expects to gain new information about both the individual resources of older people and the community and spatial factors influencing their situation as well as about how these two factors interact. For this purpose case studies will be conducted in three disadvantaged areas.