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There are many elderly people looking for fulfilling “life projects”, especially during their retirement. Many of them achieve this ambition without any help. However, others could do with some support in this regard – from an initial nudge to get them going or guidance on how to find what they are looking for right through to more committed coaching to help them implement their plans. There are also lots of elderly people who would like to assume the coaching role themselves, seeing it as an exciting challenge.


The research and development project “Carpe diem” is seeking to build a bridge here. A postgraduate course is being developed in which adult educators can learn how they can support elderly people in realising life projects. The course will then be trialled in a pilot. This is a cooperation project being run by the education provider “Akademie für Erwachsenenbildung aeB Schweiz” and the Lucerne University of Teacher Education. Researchers contributing to the project include Prof. Dr. Ulrich Otto and Dr. Heidi Kaspar from Careum Research and Prof. Dr. François Höpflinger from the University of Zurich, Centre for Gerontology.

The postgraduate course “Carpe diem – Begleiten persönlicher Lebensprojekte von Menschen ab 60” (Carpe diem – supporting the personal life projects of people aged 60+) iwas launched on 8 April 2016 at aeB Schweiz. The aim is to enable graduates to provide support to retired people aged 60+ in realising their own personal life projects. Course methods focus on a combination of education for the elderly, project management and coaching, enabling initial practical experience in supporting life projects.

The research element of the project focuses on identifying characteristics and support opportunities relating to life projects undertaken during retirement/the post-family phase of life. Like many other projects run by Careum Research, this project is designed to be interdisciplinary and incorporate various types of higher education institutions and is aimed at the direct development of innovative ideas for use in practice.

Find out more about the postgraduate course

Project team

PH Lucerne University of Teacher Education: Prof. Dr. Robert Langen and Cornelia Schmid
Careum Research: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Otto and Dr. Heidi Kaspar
Prof. Dr. François Höpflinger


October 2015–September 2017

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