Our projects Centre for Positive Ageing

Our research covers a broad range of approaches and topics. Find out about some of our ongoing research and engagements at the centre.

The Centre for Positive Ageing's research covers a broad range of approaches and topics. Here are the details of some of our ongoing research and engagements at the centre.

The Ageing Workforce Symposia
The CfPA, in collaboration with the Department of Built Environment and Department of History, Politics and Social Sciences at the University of Greenwich set up a series of symposia to explore and discuss new models to address the trends in the ageing workforce. The first of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) symposium aimed at Health & Safety Practitioners, occupational therapists and policy makers took place on 9th February 2017. Overall, this project aims to discuss the societal implications of an ageing work force, to explore what this means for the Health & Safety and Occupational health professions as well as policy makers, and to generate an academic and practical discourse.

International comparative research
One of the aims of the CfPA is to promote international comparative research and to develop research capacity and capability in the secondary analysis of data relating to older adults. Our collaborators at the University of Michigan (Professor Jane Banaszak-Holl) and Maastricht (Sandra Zwalkhalen) are affiliated with the CfPA.  Professor Banaszak-Holl led an application for funding to the NIH to compare data on older people, their living arrangements and transitions between settings using large longitudinal datasets from England (ELSA), Europe (SHARE) and the US (HRS).  The team has had a paper on the topic accepted at an international conference (American Sociological Association), and a symposium at the American Academy of Management.  This will include collaborators at Manchester (Professor Paula Hyde), Cambridge (Dr Wels Jacques) and Oxford (Dr David Barron). 

The Nursing and Midwifery Workforce
One of the main problems confronting the NHS is the shortage of nurses and midwives and the fact that both professions can be described as "ageing", with as many as 64% of nurses in one local organisation eligible to retire in the next ten years. These nurses represent a highly skilled and experienced component of the workforce, whose loss if avoided or lessened would not only improve nurse retention, but provide an ongoing cadre of experienced nurses to support and mentor the next generation(s) of nurses. Dr Karen Cleaver as Director of the Institute for Integrated Care, a collaboration with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, is leading a project funded by the Burdett Trust to investigate the demography of the professions employed in the local NHS, including Oxleas, a local CCG and a hospice. The aim of the project is to assess the current situation, to inform workforce planning, and to develop strategies for retaining older nurses to enable them to continue to work which could be adopted more generally across the NHS.

Personhood Board
Full title of the project: "Exploring the use of visual personhood boards within care homes specialising in dementia care"
The project is in partnership with Oxleas Trust and funded by the Institute of Integrated Care. It is a pilot study to explore the use of picture boards to support person-centred care of older people with dementia using a co-design approach. The aim of this project is to introduce a picture board with personalised images in the resident's rooms and explore how this would facilitate improved interaction between care staff, residents and the family members.

Participatory research with older citizens in Lewisham
The Positive Ageing Council (POSAC) have recently initiated activities to turn the Borough of Lewisham into a member of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s 'Age Friendly' cities and communities. In collaboration with the CfPA, POSAC has won funding from the Averil Osborn award fund to carry out participatory research. Older citizens of Lewisham will be involved in gathering feedback and insights in two key themes of the WHO's 'Age Friendly' city guidelines and this will inform the wider strategy for the borough-wide consultation.

Centre for Positive Ageing is part of the Faculty of Education & Health, University of Greenwich.