New professor wants to combat age discrimination

 "Elderly research is relevant to us all--sooner or later," she says, and notes that it is also is the theme of her inauguration lecture in connection with the academic ceremony in May.

What is your research about?

"Clinical Elderly Research, which is a part of the area the Human Perspective in Care. My research focuses on the elderly person, relatives, healthcare management and organisation, health and care staff, and nursing students."

What do you see as challenges in elderly research?

"There is a need for increased knowledge about attitudes and treatment of the elderly, in order to counteract age discrimination and to promote the welcoming attitude that forms the basis for good care. There is also a need for increased knowledge about the conditions of nursing care for elderly people and about nurses’ leadership in close connection to the patient."

Why is your research area important?

"Because there are many older people in society and more over time. As age is the strongest factor for ill-health, it will entail societal challenges as well as professional requirements in health care. This is something that concerns us all."

What are your most important results so far in your research work?

"The studies that I have done on municipal elderly care. The goal has been to maintain and improve care for older people and their relatives by, among other things, studying nurses' work situation, education and skills development."

What does it mean for you to have become a professor?

"I have reached my career goal. Being a professor likely gives me increased opportunities to share my expertise by initiating and leading research projects, ensuring education is based on research, and having various interesting work assignments to a greater extent, such as being an opponent and representative."

What are you doing right now?

"I lead elderly research within the Human Perspective in Care. I also supervise doctoral students and participate in research projects nationally and internationally. In addition, I am programme coordinator for the specialist nursing programme with a focus on the care of the elderly, where I teach and supervise, among other things. I also teach in nursing education about the elderly person's need for care and in this work I am also responsible for the educational content. I receive many external assignments, which of course require great work effort, which at the same time is fun and enriching in different ways."

How has your journey to professorship looked?

"It is a personal development journey that has gone on for a long time. Curiosity, joy and desire have been my driving forces since I started my research career. The road has been fascinating, as is life in general, and has been filled with many lovely meetings with friendly and interesting people around the world. At the same time, I have encountered jealousy, that's a part of it, but that has only managed to slow me down at times. It is not possible to stop a genuine inner force from reaching its goal. Today I am very proud and happy to have reached mine."

What do you want to achieve before you stop?

"I want to share the skills I have acquired. This can be through initiating and carrying out research projects, teaching, supervising and leading. I want the doctoral students I supervise to have a satisfying and educational experience in which they deliver good research that benefits society while retaining their health and becoming equipped to work as university lecturers. I also contribute to there being healthcare professionals with the skills that the work requires when it comes to the care of older people."

More about Karin Josefsson

What do you prefer to do when you have a day off?

"I am quite active; I enjoy seeing family and friends. I often play paddle tennis, meditate regularly, shop, walk and sometimes stop by a pub. At the same time, I try to make time to relax by listening to music and watching the TV series Housewives of New York."

What makes you laugh?

"Mostly comical and super-funny everyday events and everyday meetings with people. Everyday life is better than any soap opera."

What makes you angry?

"Almost nothing makes me angry, but some things that I find difficult are dishonesty, injustice, greed and bullying."

How do you want to be perceived by colleagues?

"As an ambitious, honest and happy person who cares for others."

What are you most proud of?

"That my curiosity, joy and desire are intact. That I like people, am caring but clear and am also strong and independent as I do not associate myself with an organisation."

If you had not been a researcher, what would you have been then?

"Archaeologist, actor or textile teacher."

Text: Henrik Grönberg
Photo: Suss Wilén
Translation: Eva Medin