Series: The New Dynamics of Ageing
This series showcases state-of-the-art research from the New Dynamics of Ageing programme, the first multi-disciplinary and the largest programme of ageing research in Europe. Its findings provide insights into ageing and its impact on a global scale.
Together, the books in the series embrace all disciplines with an interest in ageing, encompassing direct engagement of older people and user organisations, and contain all of the main research findings, making them an essential source of reference.
The New Dynamics of Ageing
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This chapter sets out the findings from the Music for Life project. This explored whether participation in community music making enhanced the social, emotional and cognitive well-being of older people. 398 people aged 50+ completed questionnaires that included two measures of well-being, prior to and following nine months of active engagement with music. A control group (N=102) completed the same measures. In- depth interviews were carried out with participants, observations of musical activities, focus groups and interviews with the music facilitators. Higher scores on the measures of well-being were found consistently amongst the music participants, in comparison with the control group. Interviews revealed that music participants attributed significant social, emotional and health benefits to their music making.
Biomechanical data is derived from the musculoskeletal system and the way it operates dynamically in relation to muscle force and the effects of gravity. Biomechanical analysis can be used to scientifically assess the causes of movement problems in individuals. This chapter discusses how, through the use of an innovative tool developed by the researchers to visualise older adult biomechanical data, evidence of understanding and experience of mobility issues during activities of daily living was gathered from older adults, healthcare professionals and design practitioners. It also discusses the potential role of this tool to facilitate cross-disciplinary discourse and deepen professional-practitioner understanding, and insights obtained about the experiences of older adults through empowering them, through the tool, to better engage in meaningful discussions with professionals.
Globally, older people have tended to be relatively slow adopters of ICTs. As services and facilities are increasingly delivered online, concerns about the implications for social inclusion and participation have spawned many initiatives aimed at encouraging older peoples’ digital engagement. However little attention has been paid to whether and how their usage can be sustained over time. This chapter describes the research undertaken in the Sus-IT project, which sought to address this gap. The aims were to examine older people’s use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), to identify the factors which can prevent or promote sustained use, and to explore solutions to support sustained use. A participatory, mixed methods approach was adopted, and around 1000 older ICT users were involved in the research. The findings show that while many older people are enthusiastic, competent and confident users of ICTs, they also report a range of challenges in reaching and maintaining this position. These include technological complexity and change, age-related capability changes and a lack of appropriate learning and support mechanisms. Intrinsic motivation and social support are important in enabling older people to overcome these challenges. The important implications of the findings for policy and practice are discussed.
This is the first of two volumes arising from the ground-breaking New Dynamics of Ageing Research Programme. While the Programme produced many scientific papers and several project-based books this is the only place where most of the projects are represented in specially commissioned chapters that not only report the key findings of each piece of research but also place those findings in a wider context. This volume covers a wide range of state-of-the-art research on ageing, with a specific focus on active and healthy ageing, design for ageing and global issues. Each chapter contains a summary of key findings. This book follows directly from the multi-disciplinary first volume in the Policy Press NDA Series, The New Science of Ageing.
This chapter describes the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) NDA collaborative research project, the aim of which was to investigate biological and social factors from early life that influence healthy ageing in later life. Healthy ageing was studied as optimal functioning at the individual level, in terms of physical and cognitive capability and wellbeing. The roles of lifetime socioeconomic circumstances, cognitive development and education, body size and diet were investigated, as well as underlying biology (the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, telomeres and genes). The project undertook: systematic reviews and meta-analyses of all available studies; comparative analysis using harmomised data across nine British cohort studies; in depth analysis of single cohorts with unique data; and qualitative interviews with sub-samples of participants from three of these cohorts.
This chapter introduces the book by, first, providing an overview of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, which comprised a total of 35 projects covering most of the major issues of ageing from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Then the individual chapters are introduced by summarising their own subject matter and arguments. Finally all of the projects supported by the Programme are listed together with their Principal Investigators.
This chapter discusses research on quality of life in older age funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme (NDA). Definitions of quality of life in the literature are presented, followed by older people’s own definitions and priorities, which were elicited in previous research funded by the Growing Older Programme (GO). This led to the development of The Older People’s QoL (OPQOL) questionnaire, which was fully tested in the NDA programme with three samples of older people.
This chapter presents some findings from the research project ‘Modelling Needs and Resources of Older People to 2030’ (MAP2030). The project developed a set of projection models to estimate future family circumstances, incomes, pensions, savings, disability and care needs of older people in England. These projections included public and private expenditure on pensions, disability benefits and care services under different scenarios for reform of pensions and long-term care funding under a range of alternative population futures. The chapter focuses on the projected future costs and impacts for the different income quintiles of the older population of proposed reforms to the system of funding adult social care, in particular the impact of a cap on individual liability to meet care costs.
This volume and its companion, The new dynamics of ageing volume 2, provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary overviews of the very latest research on ageing. It reports the outcomes of the most concerted investigation ever undertaken into both the influence shaping the changing nature of ageing and its consequences for individuals and society.
This book concentrates on three major themes: active ageing, design for ageing well and the relationship between ageing and socio-economic development. Each chapter provides a state of the art topic summary as well as reporting the essential research findings from New Dynamics of Ageing research projects. There is a strong emphasis on the practical implications of ageing and how evidence-based policies, practices and new products can produce individual and societal benefits.
This chapter discusses an interdisciplinary project that takes a multifaceted approach to reducing the impact of continence difficulties for older people. Environmental barriers to participation for people with continence or accessibility needs were addressed by investigating toilet provision outside the home. A variety of methods was used to investigate the concerns of both providers and users of publically accessible toilets and a technological solution was designed. NHS continence services were investigated from patient and professional perspective with the aim of understanding the particular needs of older patients. Two assistive devices that had been requested by continence pad users were developed to clinical prototype stage and tested for efficacy and user satisfaction.