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News | Tuesday, 13th August 2019

Man Met Researchers take Age-Friendly expertise to India

Professor Rebecca Lawthom and Dr Jenny Fisher share best practice and witness the challenges facing older adults in the country

Professor Rebecca Lawthom and Dr Jenny Fisher with colleagues in Delhi.
Professor Rebecca Lawthom and Dr Jenny Fisher with colleagues in Delhi.

Professor Rebecca Lawthom and Dr Jenny Fisher from the Health, Psychology and Communities Research Centre and Department of Social Care and Social Work visited Delhi, India this month as part of a project to develop age-friendly cities and communities.

The PlaceAge project, funded by the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) and Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), focuses on ageing well in urban environments.  It builds on the methodology and findings from work in the UK and Brazil and expands research to a further three cities and nine neighbourhoods.

Teams from UK and Brazil were hosted in Delhi by Professor Jamuna Begum and the Indian Research Team of ICSSR. Jenny and Rebecca spoke about the research methods they had used, including maps of neighbourhoods that highlight the barriers and facilitators older adults experience where they live. They also visited local neighbourhoods to see first-hand the challenges faced in the local area and the facilities available for older adults.

Jenny said: “Visiting local neighbourhoods, it’s evident that there are many similarities to the UK in terms of transport and community spaces, but huge differences in the priorities for older adults in lower-income neighbourhoods. For example, access to clean water, financial benefits and a lack of pavements were important issues in India, while in the UK, priorities are access to public toilets, seating and fears when leaving home after dark. What is of constant importance, is feeling a sense of belonging to the home and community - this applies to older adults across Brazil, India and the UK.

“It was a real privilege to visit Delhi, meet the Indian research team and share experiences of undertaking such important research. We’ve learned a lot from this visit, the context of the different cities and our colleagues’ experiences of undertaking the research so far. The team gave us such a warm welcome and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”

Find out more about the PlaceAge project.

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