Päivi Topo acts as the Ombudsman for older people. She started working in the position on 15 January 2022.
Päivi Topo has studied social sciences at the University of Helsinki, and she wrote her doctoral dissertation on the medicalisation of the ageing of women. Ever since she was a student, she has been interested in the possibilities of increasing equality as well as issues related to the construction and use of power. She specialises in using research information in decision-making and development work.
Topo has had a long career as a researcher in issues related to the living environments and services for the elderly and especially those who have a memory illness. She has worked in research at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) as well as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow. During her career, Topo has acted as the General Secretary of the National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics ETENE, and she is also currently a member of ETENE. Päivi Topo became the Ombudsman for the older people after serving as the Director of the Age Institute, where which she was involved in establishing the IKÄ network of the Finnish Parliament on issues related to ageing and acted as its secretary, among other things. In addition, Topo has worked in several expert positions related to the rights of the elderly on the national level.
Topo is an Adjunct Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Helsinki and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology at the University of Jyväskylä. Her latest publications discuss research ethics, the contribution of the elderly in the society, as well as social exclusion and age discrimination.