About the programme
The Growing Older programme consisted of 24 research projects focussed on how to extend the quality of life in old age. They were commissioned together as part of a £3.5 million investment by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The research effort aimed to make a substantial impact on policy and practice. It is well-known that people are living longer but very little attention has been given by UK social scientists to the factors that determine the quality of life experienced by older people.
The Programme had two main objectives:
To pursue a broad-based multi-disciplinary programme designed to generate new knowledge on extending quality life.
To contribute to the development of policies and practices in the field in order to make a direct contribution to extending quality life.
The Programme covered six research topics:
Defining and measuring quality of life
Inequalities in quality of life
The role of technology and the built environment
Healthy and productive ageing
Family and support networks
Participation and activity in later life
The programme ran from 1999 to April 2004.
The director was responsible for the programme, in conjunction with the ESRC programme officer and the advisory board. There is a detailed communication strategy designed to maximise both networking between projects and the impact of the programme's findings.