The Study

The Old Age in Germany (D80+) study is a representative cross-sectional survey that interviewed individuals in Germany who were born before March 1, 1940 and are 80 years or older. An important feature of D80+ is that the study includes individuals in institutional elderly care.

Study Procedure

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the originally planned face-to-face survey was divided into two phases. Phase one, the written survey, began in November 2020 and ended in April 2021. Phase two, the telephone survey, started in May 2021 and ended in October 2021. The written survey (Module 1) includes questions of high priority. The telephone survey (Module 2) includes questions with lower priority, as well as questions that could only be answered with the help of interviewers (such as questions and tests for assessing cognitive performance).


A total of 10,360 individuals completed the written questionnaire. Of these, 3,042 individuals participated in the telephone interview. During the second telephone survey phase, attempts were also made to reach those individuals who had not completed the paper questionnaire, and a total of 218 additional individuals were recruited for participation. These participants were asked the questions from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in the CATI mode.

Note on deviating case numbers

The case numbers in the Infas method report are higher than the actual cases in the dataset. This is due to the exclusion of cases where more than 50% of the questions in the questionnaire were not answered, as well as the exclusion of questionnaires that were likely not filled out by the target individuals.

Survey Topics

In the D80+ study, participants were asked about various aspects of their lives, including:

  • Housing
  • Family and household
  • Coping with aging
  • Health and cognitive status
  • Daily activities
  • Social integration and social networks
  • Life satisfaction and well-being
  • Financial situation
  • German Centre of Gerontology (DZA)