Promoting independence and social engagement among older people in disadvantaged communities

Lead Research Organisation: Keele University
Department Name: Research Institute for Social Sciences


This research project aims to increase our understanding of the social and psychological processes involved in promoting independence and social engagement among older people living in disadvantaged communities.   The participatory action research design will examine the impact on older people of different forms of community initiative in particular inner city neighbourhoods. These initiatives include community arts, community health, community health technology and benefit support.   A range of both

qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from participants throughout the study.  The information collected will be reviewed and fed back to the different project teams on an ongoing basis so as to refine the different initiatives and clarify their particular impacts.

The project will be based in the east end of Manchester, a multiply disadvantaged area which displays the complex problems that are typical of deprived urban communities.  The project was developed in partnership with the city council.  Working with the city council and relevant agencies the research team also aims to develop policy guidelines for the promotion of active ageing among older people.


Description 1. Community connectedness: Older residents of disadvantaged communities identify very closely with those communities. Although they recognise various signs of disadvantage, they stress the positive features of their communities and resent being labelled as deprived. They are aware of limited local social opportunities and anxious about involvement in activities outside their immediate communities.

2. Working with older residents: While many of the older residents are keen to get involved in
Exploitation Route Local authorities can play a leading role in devloping local opportunities for older people in thei immediate neighbourhoods. This will require providing training opportunities for staff on how to work in a collaboartive manner with older people and how they can access resources from a range of sources. Local organisations can work with older residents of disadvantged neighbourhoods to maximise their involvement in social activities. This will require allocation of additional resources to comm
Sectors Education,Healthcare