Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age

Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age

Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age

Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age


This volume introduces the work of the Economic and Social Reseach Council (ESRC) funded Growing Older Programme (1999-2004) and provides a showcase for the other volumes in the series. It focuses on ways in which quality of life can be extended for older people and offers short research-based summaries of key findings on a variety of core topics with a major emphasis on the views of older people themselves. Many of the leading names in social gerontology in the United Kingdom have contributed their findings, providing the most up-to-date and broad-ranging information available on quality of life in old age. Topics discussed include:middot; Defining and measuring quality of life middot; Inequalities in quality of life middot; Technology and the built environment middot; Healthy and active ageing middot; Family and support networks middot; Participation and grandparenthood Growing Older is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of social gerontology, sociology and social policy. It is of interest to professionals working with older people, including social workers, gerontology nurses and community support workers. There are also important findings for policy-makers. Contributors: Sara Arber; Madhavi Bajekal; David Blane; John Bond; Ann Bowling; Jabeer Butt; Lynda Clarke; Joanne Cook; Kate Davidson; Murna Downs; Zahava Gabriel; Ini Grewal; Catherine Hagan Hennessey; Caroline Holland; Gill Hubbard; Leonie Kellaher; Charlotte MacDonald; Tony Maltby; Jo Moriarty; Joan Murphy; James Nazroo; Sheila M. Peace; Chris Phillipson; Ceridwen Roberts; Sasha Scambler; Thomas Scharf; Allison Smith; Susan Tester; Christina Victor; Alan Walker; Lorna Warren.


The Growing Older (GO) Programme spanned seven years from conception to formal completion and we want to gratefully acknowledge the many contributions that have been made to it along the way. First and foremost is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which not only funded the programme in its entirety but was also responsible for taking the initiative in the first place. The Research Priorities Board of the ESRC was the one that approved the initial proposal and eventually the programme itself and which oversaw its implementation. The programme has had excellent support from the ESRC, from the Anthropology, Linguistics, Psychology, Health and Sociology Research Area led by Ros Rouse; from Kathy Ham and Iain Stewart of the External Relations Division; and from a series of ESRC programme officers including Faye Auty and Naomi Beaumont at the beginning and Shabnam Khan at the end.

Then there are the project researchers, among whom are some of the UK's leading social scientists in this field but, also, many new faces who will form the next generation of outstanding social scientists. There are 96 researchers associated with the programme and their cooperation has been an essential feature of its success. They have responded happily (for the most part) to the seemingly endless series of requests from the programme office. It has been a privilege to work with this high calibre group of social scientists. Of course they are responsible for the high quality of the research produced by the programme.

We also want to acknowledge the thousands of older people who took part in the GO projects as respondents and sometimes researchers or who contributed to the programme in other ways. We know that we owe them a duty to ensure that the best possible use is made of the results.

The programme Advisory Committee, chaired by Anthea Tinker, was a constant source of support and our thanks go to its members: Allan Bowman, Gillian Crosby, Leela Damodaran, Arthur Fleiss, Tessa Harding, Tom Hoyes, Paul Johnson, Carol Lupton, Robin Means, Terry Philpot, Martin Shreeve and Tony Warnes. Anthea Tinker could not have been a better chair in displaying a perfect balance of . . .

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