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The overall aim of the Ageing Studies theme is to address two fundamental questions - how to ensure that people age healthily and are free of disability and, for those who become ill and disabled, how we can ensure interventions and care, transport and housing are provided effectively and efficiently and in line with their needs.These questions raise issues from the cellular level, through individual human ageing, to social policy. These questions also raise a number of very interesting ethical and legal issues about ageing populations and how best to ensure that care at the end of life respects the rights of older people, as well as ensuring a fair distribution of resources between generations and across the life span.

The Ageing Studies Theme members represent a wide range of disciplines. Biologists, psychologists, sociologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, are working with people in the arts and humanities, those with a special interest in policy and the law and with practitioners in social work and medicine to develop innovative, interdisciplinary research programmes. Most importantly the members of our Brunel Older People’s Reference group are engaged in our research not only as participants, but as members of advisory groups and programme management boards.
The three main clusters of research cut across areas of Biological, Social and Psychological Ageing and include experts in rehabilitation after cancer and stroke, incontinence, biomechanics and falls, cellular and molecular biology of ageing, sociology and psychology of loneliness, financial and elder abuse, ageing with alcohol, ethnic ageing and driving cessation, dementia, mid life risk factors for cognitive decline in old age, and posterior cortical atrophy.

The priority crosscutting topics for research within this Theme represent extensions of current research, the interests of collaborators and end-users and areas where the knowledge base is known to be weak. These are:

Ageing healthily
Research at the cellular level as well as beliefs and behaviours that impact on willingness to engage in behaviours that will ensure a healthy old age

Good care
Developing effective ways of social care and transport and financial services

Ethical and legal issues
Advance care planning and detecting and preventing financial elder abuse