Enabling environment: Modelling Well-being in Ageing

Lead Research Organisation: Northumbria University
Department Name: Fac of Health and Life Sciences

Abstract

The traditional view of older people emphasises experiences of loss and decline. However, there is a growing body of work which challenges this view as an inadequate explanation for experiences which older people themselves identify as associated with well-being.
The Network on Enabling Environments (Modelling Wellbeing in Ageing) aims to develop expertise to investigate major determinants of health and well-being in later life. It will achieve this by bringing together staff working on health and social care research into wellbeing of older people, a 25 year cohort study of ageing and mathematical and statistical models.
The outcome will be a research proposal for a study that will model and predict well-being in older people, better understanding the relationship of wellbeing to social and community environments, to psychological resourcefulness, and to mental and physical health.

Technical Summary

The traditional view of older people emphasises experiences of loss and decline. However, there is a growing body of work which challenges this view as an inadequate explanation for experiences which older people themselves identify as associated with well-being.
The Network on Enabling Environments (Modelling Wellbeing in Ageing) aims to:
1. Develop interdisciplinary expertise to investigate major determinants of health and well-being in later life. The outcome will be a research proposal for a study that will model and predict well-being in older people, better understanding the relationship of wellbeing to social and community environments, to psychological resourcefulness, and to mental and physical health.
To achieve this aim and objectives, the Network brings together several key areas:
1. Health and social care research into wellbeing of older people, linking also to understanding wellbeing as a key public health concern and so to the work of the UKCRC Centre for Translational Research in Public Health and to the British Academy International Collaborative Research Network on Ageing Populations.
2. A 25 year psychology cohort study of ageing with a particular interest in cognitive ageing (North East Age Research NEAR).
3. Methodological expertise in building mathematical and statistical models and risk evaluation.
4. Computer Science and informatics expertise in data mining, artificial intelligence and visualisation of complex data.
This work will develop the core interdisciplinary research expertise and concepts/strategies for a research proposal that will allow conceptualisation and hence management of older people which moves beyond the current decline and problem orientated approach of society and services. It has the potential to identify those aspects of the social, psychological and physical environment which enable older people to use their inherent adaptive capacities to best effect. As such, services may be able to support these environments and facilitate alignment between the reported experiences of older people and well-being. As a result health and social care resources may orientate to maximise people?s capabilities. The resultant reduction in iatrogenic dependence has the potential to improve quality of life.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 7th Framework Marie Curie
Amount £175,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 
Sector Academic/University
Country Global
Start  
 
Description MATSEQAL 
Organisation Northumbria University
Department School of Computing Engineering and Information Science Northumbria
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This entry concerns a sucessful bid for EU 7th Framework funding by a sub-group of the LLHW Network. The bid was made shortly after the LLHW Network Award commenced and the partners knew each other only through the LLHW Network. The EU award is led by one of the LLHW Network members at Northumbria University, and I am one of the co-applicants.
Collaborator Contribution This new EU award commences in early 2010 and will extend research into technology use by older people. The project involves several of my long-standing international collaborators in Australia, South Africa and Germany and so contributes to sustaining these collaborations. These international partners (in particular) have work and collaborations founded in another network that I lead - the International Collaborative Research Network of Risk in Older Populations, which was innitially funded by the British Academy and is now self-sustaining.
Impact The EU project commences in early 2011.
Start Year 2009
 
Description presentation - Newcastle 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The work of the LLHW Network was presented and discussed at an event hosted by ippr as part of their programme of work on the Politics of Ageing.

the presentation informed the subsequent report by ippr
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description workshop with older people 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact workshop with 40 older people at which we presented the LLHW Network work and explored ideas about wellbeing for older people using an interactive appreciative enquiry format.

The discussion was captured through notes made by the older people and has informed the work of the LLHW Network and subsequent outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009