Innovative Ageing

Ageing Research at Swansea University

About the CIA

The Centre for Innovative Ageing (CIA) at Swansea University provides the infrastructure, focus and leadership for ageing research and scholarship across the University’s Academic Colleges. The Centre is the only one of its kind in Wales, identifying gaps in ageing research and generating new interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of ageing. The research emanating from the Centre is highly acclaimed and the standing and reputation of the Centre is well recognised, having achieved intergenerational recognition for its work in social gerontology as a collaborating centre of excellence and a global leader in research by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG). The CIA initiates, coordinates and supports ageing research within Swansea University and fosters collaboration between researchers in Swansea and those further afield (nationally and internationally). It hosts the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) – a pan-Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research.

The CIA has a philosophy of translating research into practice, achieved through active interaction with policy makers, managers and practitioners. It fosters collaboration between business and academia, and prepares its students for:

  • Working with older people
  • Managing and delivering services for older people
  • Designing or manufacturing products for an ageing population
  • Joining the scientific research community

The research being conducted in the CIA falls under two overarching strategic themes (see below). The impact of the research is far reaching and positively affects the lives of older adults using translational research and network development as cross-cutting themes.

1. Participation, Social and Supportive Relationships

The community is important as the location for the formation and continuation of associations and relationships with others as well as the formation of cultural convention, norms, values and beliefs. Topics under this theme include:-

  • Loneliness
  • Social support networks
  • Transnational relationships
  • Community cohesion/conflict
  • Changing dynamics of networks and families
  • Differences between ethnicity / culture in family and network structures

2. Environments of Ageing

This theme addresses person-environment interactions as people age. Recent research and theory suggest older people are actively engaged with their environments. The research is often referred to as environmental gerontology or the ecology of ageing. This theme is multi-disciplinary, using theoretical perspectives from psychology, sociology, architecture, human geography, urban studies, planning and occupational therapy, as well as examining the interactions between engineering, technology, ICT and society. Topics under this theme include:-

  • Housing and supported living environments
  • Social inclusion and connectivity
  • Transport, travel, road user safety
  • Attitudes towards technology, acceptability of technology, digital inclusion, acceptability of policy and interventions
  • Ageing-in-place, place attachment, migration, rural-urban contexts
  • Urban design and built environment
  • Work and retirement

Publications from researchers at the Centre for Innovative Ageing are available on Cronfa – Swansea University’s research repository