Our Research

The current research being conducted in the Centre for Innovative Ageing (CIA) falls under three overarching strategic themes:

Participation, Social and Supportive Relationships

The community is important as the location for the formation and continuation of associations and relationships with others as well as the formation of cultural convention, norms, values and beliefs. On a national and sub-national level, the construction of norms, for example for supportive relationships, impacts on older people’s lives. The CIA has unique data and research expertise concerning the transnational relationships, social networks, inter- and intra-generational relationship of older migrants in the UK. Further, the centre is seen as a global leader in social gerontology within this theme. Topics under this theme include:- 

  • Social support networks
  • Transnational relationships
  • Community cohesion/conflict
  • Social contagion within communities of practice and place
  • Health literacy within support networks
  • Changing dynamics of networks and families
  • Differences between ethnicity/culture in family and networks structures

Environments of Ageing

This theme addresses person-environment interactions as people age. Traditionally the ageing individual was seen as being strongly influenced by the environment within which they lived, worked and interacted, encapsulated approaches such as ‘environmental press’ or ‘person–environment reactivity’. Research and theory now suggests older people are more actively engaged with their environment with roots in environmental psychology, and is often referred to as ‘environmental gerontology’ or the ‘ecology of ageing’. Environments of ageing is multi-disciplinary in nature, utilising theoretical perspectives from psychology, sociology, architecture, human geography, urban studies, planning and occupational therapy. It is often inter-disciplinary and looks at the interactions between engineering, technology, ICT and society and draws upon socio-technical, human-computer interaction and user-centred design theory within an ageing context. The CIA covers a wider range of topics under this theme including:- 

  • Housing and supported living environments
  • Social inclusion and connectivity
  • Transport, travel, road user safety
  • Attitudes towards technology, acceptability of technology, digital inclusion, acceptability of policy and interventions
  • Ageing-in-place, place attachment, migration, rural-urban contexts
  • Urban design and built environment
  • Globalisation
  • Falls

Work, retirement and ageism

This theme links to the Ageing Well in Wales commitment to improving labour market outcomes for older workers. It also links to the UK government ‘fuller working lives’ agenda and builds upon the global drive, spearheaded by the WHO to combat ageism.  Topics covered under this theme include:

  • The working environment, including ageing well in work, age diversity in the workplace, precarious working and the gig economy
  • Age management policies and HR/organisational practices
  • Perceptions of ageing, ageism and age discrimination 
  • Retirement planning, retirement adjustment, working beyond retirement and un-retirement
  • Working with a disability/chronic illness

In addition to the world-leading research of the CIA, the centre is engaged with the development of networks in Wales, the wider UK and globally. This allows for the impact of the research conducted in the centre to be far reaching and positively affect the lives of Older Adults beyond the traditional scope of an academic research centre.  There is more information on the Research Groups and Initiatives  page.