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Older people help academics to research

11th July 2015

In order to research the ‘age-friendliness’ of cities, the University of Manchester trained a number of older people as co-researchers, which gained those involved a training certificate from the MICRA.

The older people were aiding sociologists from the university to undertake the project, which looked to find the factors that make a city age-friendly. Results found that social inclusion was the secret to ageing well, with age-friendly transport and housing also helping to make older people feel more included in the urban neighbourhoods where they live.

The project has now been turned into a 15-minute film by the Manchester Institute of Collaborative Research on Ageing, which features the 18 co-investigators who were aged between 58 and 74-years-old. The short movie shows a snapshot of the lives of older people living in Whalley Range in Chorlton in Manchester. This is a great example, as it was the first UK city to be recognised by the World Health Organisation as ‘age-friendly’ in 2010.

‘The project can now serve as a pilot scheme which can be adopted by other places’

The film was due to be showcased to the public for the first time last week, in order to show how the research can be replicated elsewhere in the world, to help improve the lives of older people living in the city. While home improvements such as stairlifts can help older people live independently, it’s also important that the location in which they live offers the same level of comfort.

In 15 years’ time, more than a quarter of the world’s population living in cities will be over the age of 60, as it becomes an increasingly popular location for people to choose to live in during their retirement. In an article on the Manchester University website, project leader Dr Tine Buffel said: “Older people have the right to feel like their city belongs to them because they make such a large contribution to their city throughout their lives.”

Image Credit: Mike Kneic (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.