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Older People in Ageing Research - Reflecting on User Involvement
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84 pp
ISBN 9781901097269
176 x 250mm

Reflecting on User-Involvement and Participatory Research
edited by Sheila Peace and Jonathan Hughes

In 2010, user involvement is viewed as a sine qua non of good practice in health and social welfare. The same is increasingly true of publicly funded research that investigates issues connected with ageing. ‘Professional’ researchers continue to question how research should be conducted and disseminated. Comparing similarities and differences in research involving older people over a decade, issues of power were central in 1998 and remain so when older people are involved in research as either ‘subjects’ or as researchers.

All the papers here show how professional researchers can adopt ways of working with older people that better recognises their potential contributions. How research organisations select, use and involve older people in carrying out research, how effective they are and the advantages and disadvantages of using them as a resource is examined. In conducting research, issues of adequate financial support, tokenism, and the importance of collaboration between parties are all raised as being particularly important. A qualitative case study hears from people who are often excluded – older carers – utilising a range of research methods including diaries, focus group meetings and participant observation. A critique of our experience so far makes it clear that the involvement of older researchers can benefit both the research and the older individual. However, these benefits do not necessarily translate into improvements in service quality. Putting research into practice remains a challenge

Contents: Introduction, Sheila Peace and Jonathan Hughes. Participative or Patronising? An evaluation of the role and purpose of research undertaken with older people, Anthony Gough with Jonathan Hughes. A Different Viewpoint: learning from a study of older citizens' participation in local government, Sandra Vegeris, adapted by Jonathan Hughes. Older People's Involvement in Research: a European perspective, Sam Taylor, adapted by Sheila Peace and Jonathan Hughes. 'Tales of the Unexpected'. Involving older carers as co-researchers, Ethna Parker. The Pearls, Perils and Pitfalls of User Involvement, Josie Tetley. Conclusion, Jonathan Hughes.

No 10 The Representation of Older People in Ageing Research Series

A joint series from the Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies at the Open University and the Centre for Policy on Ageing


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