Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR)

Conducting high quality interdisciplinary research and promoting research-led teaching around ageing, older people and age-related disease that establishes Lancaster University as a leading regional, national and international centre of excellence for ageing research and teaching.

Our research

The impact of global ageing is widely acknowledged as having significant implications for health, society, the economy and policy. This has been recognised in policy, strategy and debate within and across organisations as diverse as the UN, the WHO, the EU as well as national, regional and local governments, public, private and third sectors.

Concerns are being raised about how we can ensure older people experience an active and healthy older age and how we can address the needs of the rising numbers of our 'oldest old' populations (those age 85+) who may make significant demands on our health and welfare systems.

Scientists at Lancaster University are making significant contributions to both early diagnosis and alleviation of some of the worst effects of mental and physiological ageing. Our research work encompasses neuro-degenerative disease (particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), molecular change associated with the ageing process as well as pathological developments associated with disease. We are also working on the design and development of new technologies to support and enhance the health and wellbeing older people and their care-givers.

Importantly, however it is Lancaster's reputation for interdisciplinarity that underpins its strength in the field of Ageing Research. Social scientists at Lancaster are playing an important role in contributing to our understanding of how best to address the needs of older people and their carers in ways that are both proactive and conscious of the need to place dignity, choice and independence at the forefront of care and support for older people.

Whilst this work seeks to answer different sorts of questions to those of bioscience and engineering, it is the strength of this interdisciplinary approach that enables us to gain more detailed insights and offer more effective interventions to support a more successful ageing process.

  • Examples

    Example 1:

    Scientists at Lancaster in partnership with a local NHS Trust have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have difficulty with one particular type of eye tracking test and this simple test could hold the key to earlier Alzheimer's diagnosis.

    Detailed eye-tracking measurements, taken from Alzheimer's patients and the control group showed stark contrasts in results. Patients with Alzheimer's made errors 10 times more frequently compared to those in the control groups.

    Researchers also measured memory function among those Alzheimer's patients who found the test difficult and were able to show a clear correlation with lower memory function. These new results are potentially very exciting as they demonstrate, for the first time, a connection with the memory impairment that is so often the first noticeable symptom in Alzheimer's disease.

     

    Example 2:

    In another development, research at Lancaster has discovered that a commonly prescribed diabetes drug could reverse memory loss and the build-up of plaques on the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease. Results from the study, funded by the Alzheimer's Society, show that liraglutide might be able to reverse some of the damage caused by Alzheimer's disease in the later stages of the condition. Developing new drugs from scratch can take many years and cost millions of pounds so repurposing existing drugs as dementia treatments is an incredibly exciting way of bringing new treatments closer.

    These are just two examples of how scientists and social scientists can address common issues from different but equally important perspectives.

     

  • Objectives
    • To promote and conduct high-quality interdisciplinary research concerning ageing throughout Lancaster University, and beyond to national and international academic, policy, practitioner and older people's networks;
    • To establish a strong international visibility and reputation for ageing research and research-led teaching at Lancaster, that establishes Lancaster as a major international hub for research, scholarship and debate around ageing.
    • To provide a locus for external funding applications for interdisciplinary ageing research.
    • To develop postgraduate training in ageing and ageing research and to provide a major point of attraction for research and taught postgraduates in the field;
    • To develop CPD training on ageing for those tasked with planning and providing care and support for ageing populations across the UK and beyond.
  • Research projects

    Examples of current projects being undertaken by core members of C4AR include:


    FOCUS: Frailty management Optimisation through EIP AHA Commitments and Utilisation of stakeholders input. This EU funded project includes partners across disciplines from 6 different countries working together to critically reduce the burden of frailty in Europe by developing methodologies and tools to assist early diagnosis, screening and management of frailty and to understand the barriers and facilitators to preventing and intervening with frailty from a range of perspectives, from frail older person to EU or National health policy maker. FOCUS Final Report
    Contact: Professor Carol Holland

    Men in Sheds and other gendered interventions for older men
    This report provides a systematic review of the evidence base of Men in Sheds and other gender-specific interventions designed to promote health and wellbeing amongst older men. The final report is now available for downloading.

    EPOCH: The experiences and expectations of older people resident in care homes, their carers and professionals of end of life care and symptom relief needs: a prospective study (with the University of Hertfordshire).
    Contact: Professor Katherine Froggatt

    APPROACH: Analysis and Perspectives of integrated working in Primary care Organizations and Care Homes (with the University of Hertfordshire).
    Contact: Professor Katherine Froggatt

    EFORRT Remote care interventions: ethics, gender and governance of new technologies of elderly care at home (Comparative study with the UK, Netherlands, Norway and Spain).
    Contact Professor Christine Milligan

    NEUROSCREEN: development of biomarkers for dementia in old age.
    Contact: Professor David Allsop

    Ageing, oxidative damage and mitochondrial DNA mutation.
    Contact: Dr David Clancy

    NAD: development of nanoparticles for improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (EU- FP7).

    MRC-funded longitudinal study on biomarkers for Parkinson's disease.
    Contact: Professor David Allsop

    The Roles of ACER and Insulin/IGF-like Signalling in the Dietary Moderation of Sleep and Lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster.
    Contact: Dr Sue Broughton

    The usefulness of health and fitness apps of wearable gadgets
    An article written by Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves on the usefulness of health and fitness apps of wearable gadgets, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Android Wear, Fitbit’s Charge Microsoft’s Band and the Apple Watch, published by The Guardian on Monday the 1st of December http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/dec/01/wearable-technology-gadget-christmas-health-fitness

    The design of personalised computer games for aiding stroke survivors with their physiotherapy
    An article published by The Daily Mail on Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves' research work & journal article on the design of personalised computer games for aiding stroke survivors with their physiotherapy. The article contains a quote on the merits of the study from Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association. The work was also featured in other online media outlets.

    The design of computer games for combating some of the symptoms of Parkinson's
    An article published by The Daily Mirror on Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves’ research work and journal article on the design of computer games for combating some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. The work was also featured in an article by The Times (page 5 on the Friday 21 November issue). The article included a comment on the merits of the study, by the Parkinson's UK clinical director Professor David Burn. The article became very popular across the UK, in Australia as well as other countries by being featured by major online News outlets, such as Yahoo UK News, BT News, Sky News Australia, The Daily Telegraph Sydney, The Herald Sun and several others.

    Postgraduate Research

    The Centre for Ageing Research provides a vibrant hub for postgraduate activity across the disciplines. More than 28 postgraduate research students are currently affiliated to the Centre. Examples of research projects being undertaken by research students within the Centre include:

    • The role of DNA mutations in ageing
    • Seeking and testing gene targets for delaying ageing
    • Studies on proteins relevant to frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease
    • The role of insulin/IGF-like signalling and dietary sugar in ageing and locomotor senescence
    • Narratives of living well with a long term health condition
    • Experiences of older people and their families accessing out-of-hours services
    • Carers' needs and preferred forms of support following a stroke
  • Resources

    Centre for Ageing Research 'Town & Gown Event' - Lancaster Town Hall, 7th September 2017

    The theme of this year's Town and Gown event was 'Dementia and the Imagination: Arts and Design for Health'. Organised and run by Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research, it was designed to introduce delegates to some of the most cutting edge research and practice, drawing on knowledge and expertise from the worlds of art and design. From music and theatre to participatory art and design, this event showcased the work of researchers from Lancaster University together with that of their collaborators with backgrounds in health, academia and the voluntary and community sector.

    A series of videos, with accompanying presentations in PDF format, where available, can be found below:

    Christine Milligan, An introduction to the event| Watch the video

    J Keady and H Pusey, "Participatory arts and dementia: an overview from Manchester" | C4AR TAG17 J Keady and H Pusey | Watch the video

    Paul Rodgers, "Disrupting Dementia by Design" | No presentation available | Watch the video

    Emmanuel Tsekleves, "Ageing Playfully" | C4AR TAG17 E Tsekleves | Watch the video

    Robyn Dowlen, "Being ‘in the moment’ with music" | C4AR TAG17 R Dowlen | Watch the video

    Euan Winton, "How can design empower people living with dementia to transform local communities?" | C4AR TAG17 E Winton | Watch the video

    John Killick, No presentation available | Watch the video

    Pam Schweitzer, "Remembering Yesterday, Caring Today: Reminiscence in Dementia Care" | C4AR TAG17 P Schweitzer | Watch the video

    Christine Milligan and Gil Graystone, "A Life More Ordinary: Developing dementia friendly spaces through the arts " | C4AR TAG17 C Milligan and G Graystone | Watch the video

    Garuth Chalfont, "What is Art?" | C4AR TAG17 G Chalfont | Watch the video

    Daniel Carey, No title available | C4AR TAG17 D Carey | Watch the video

    Mary Elliott, No presentation available | Watch the video

    Jimmy O'Donnell, "The Power of Sensory Reminiscence - unlocking creativity within each person" | C4AR TAG17 J ODonnell | Watch the video

    New Initiatives in Careers Health and Enterprise (NICHE) Seminar – 23 February 2017

    A report summarising this NICHE seminar event can be found below.

    NICHE Seminar Report Feb 2017

    Environmental challenges in older age Seminar – 8 December 2016

    The Centre for Ageing Research held a seminar on environmental challenges in older age, including the impact of climate change (floods and heatwaves), and the potential risk of air pollution in the development of dementia.

    Professor Barbara Maher & Professor David Allsop talked about 'Airborne particulate pollution as a potential environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease' and Professor Gordon Walker talked about 'Heatwaves, vulnerabilities and climate change: problems for and with care provision for older people'

    Download the presentations:

    C4AR Seminar 08 Dec 2016 - D.Allsop

    C4AR Seminar 08 Dec 2016 - G. Walker

    Non-drug Treatments to Intervene and Prevent Dementia Symposium - 23 June 2016

    Resources from this successful, well-attended event are now available online. The Symposium was held online, using web conferencing technology, affording guest presenters and other 'virtual' delegates the opportunity to contribute to the day.

    Below, you will find all of the presentation videos, which you are free to watch online by clicking each in turn.
    (Please note that the quality of some videos is variable, subject to technical limitations experienced between the University and some of the online presenters).

    An C4AR: Non-drug treatments to intervene and prevent Dementia - Event report is also available.

    Music proves to be a real hit in dementia project

    The Creative Exchange, Ageing Playfully, has been featured on a number of medical news sites, such as News Medical, Medical Express and Medical News Today, in the UK and overseas. The project discovered that creative activities such as designing musical instruments can improve the quality of life of people with dementia.

    More details 

    Dementia Futures 'Town and Gown' Event - 18th September 2015

    In September 2015, the Centre for Ageing Research held its annual Town and Gown event in Lancaster Town Hall. The focus of the event was on Dementia Futures, bringing together academics from the university, clinicians and practitioners, city councillors and members of the public to hear about some of the latest developments in dementia research and practice.  This year saw the addition of a room demonstrating a range of interactive activities used in research that proved a huge success with those attending.

    Download the presentation portfolio: Dementia Futures Presentations

    View the YouTube video of this event

    Palliative Care Research in Care Homes - 14th June 2016

    This seminar aimed to present current international care home research with respect to palliative care for older people. Following the presentations there was an opportunity for discussion and at the end of the day the role of research in care homes was further considered.

    Given the focus of the seminar the event was arranged in partnership with the National Research and development in Care Homes Forum and the International Observatory on End of Life Care.

    Download the seminar report: Funded Research Seminar 2016

    Embodied experiences of stroke in rural areas (7th May 2015)

    Louise Meijering, Assistant Professor in the Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, talks about the research that she and other colleagues have been conducting on the place-based experiences of older stroke survivors in the Netherlands.

    Download the presentation: Embodied Experiences of Stroke

    C4AR Pathways to Impact Seminar Series Ageing and Health: Breaking Down Boundaries
    Seminar 3: Caring for the oldest old of our populations (10th July 2015)

    As part of the University's 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Centre for Ageing Research held a 'town and gown' event themed around Caring for Our Older Populations on 10th July 2014.

    Download the presentation portfolio: Pathways to Impact: Seminar 3

  • Contact C4AR

    For further information about C4AR, please contact one of the staff members below:

    Professor Christine Milligan
    Director of the Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR)
    c.milligan@lancaster.ac.uk

    Jan Lyons
    C4AR Secretary
    jan.lyons@lancaster.ac.uk

Study with us

Our blended learning courses have an international focus, offering global perspectives at a top 10 UK university. These degrees allow you to balance your work, job and family commitment by studying part-time via e-learning, while offering support from experienced professional and academic teams.

Learn theories in gerontology and ageing, research skills and practice, health and social care systems, social policies in the UK and globally; and gain deeper insights in population ageing, and how to provide better health and care systems to support older people and families.

MSc Ageing (Blended Learning)

In the MSc Ageing, you will take four taught modules online, undertake a research project and complete a 10000-word dissertation with dedicated supervision from the academic team at Lancaster. You will begin your study from a one-week induction academy at Lancaster University.

Read more

Doctoral Programmes in Ageing and Dementia Studies (Blended Learning)

If your aim is to further enhance your understanding of theory, policy and practice, and make an original contribution to knowledge development within the field, our blended learning PhD in Ageing or PhD in Dementia Studies will suit you.

Read more

Staff members

Centre Staff

Professor Carol Holland

Professor in Ageing

+44 (0)1524 510436

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre

+44 (0)1524 592128 C054, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Trevor Crawford

Reader of Neuropsychology

Infancy and Early Development, Perception and Action

+44 (0)1524 593761

Dr Holly Gwyther

Research Fellow

+44 (0)1524 592895 C060, C - Floor, Furness College

Jan Lyons

Research Secretary, Library Administrative Assistant

+44 (0)1524 592827 B105, B - Floor, Library

Dr Qian Xiong

Lecturer in Ageing

+44 (0)1524 510441 C086, C - Floor, Furness College

Core Members

+44 (0)1524 592122

Dr Faraz Ahmed

Lecturer in Health Inequalities

+44 (0)1524 594794

+44 (0)1524 592718

Dr Susan Broughton

Lecturer, Casual - Course Consultant

+44 (0)1524 593710

Dr Garuth Chalfont

Research Associate AIM2

+44 (0)1524 594751

+44 (0)1524 592044

+44 (0)1524 594896 B003, B - Floor, Furness College

Dr Mandy Dillon

Senior Research Development Manager

+44 (0)1524 592541

Dr Mandy Dixon

Senior Manager of Health Engagement and Innovation Team (HEIT)

Work and Health Forum

+44 (0)1524 593144

Clinical Psychology

+44 (0)1524 592807 C037, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Ian Fletcher

Senior Lecturer, Casual - Course Consultant

Clinical Psychology

+44 (0)1524 593301

International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 593308 C048, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Amy Gadoud

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine

International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 592943

Dr Christopher Gaffney

Lecturer in Sports Science

+44 (0)1524 593602

Professor Sumi Helal

Chair in Digital Health

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, SCC (Digital Health)

+44 (0)1524 510307

Dr Bob Lauder

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1524 593561 B056, B - Floor, Furness College

Professor Garik Markarian

Casual - Researcher

SCC (Communication Systems)

Dr Ceu Mateus SFHEA

Senior Lecturer in Health Economics

Centre for Health Inequalities Research

+44 (0)1524 593182

Dr Stephen Milan

Partnerships Development Manager, Health Engagement and Innovation Team

Work and Health Forum

+44 (0)1524 592755

Dr Hazel Morbey

Research Fellow

+44 (0)1524 592729 C085, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Tom Palmer

Lecturer in Statistics

Medical and Social Statistics

+44 (0)1524 594019

Dr Edward Parkin

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1524 592246

Dr Siobhan Reilly

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Health Inequalities Research

+44 (0)1524 594367

Professor Paul Rodgers

Professor of Design

+44 (0)1524 594520

Dr Jane Simpson

Senior Lecturer

Clinical Psychology

+44 (0)1524 592858 C039, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Michelle Swainson

Lecturer in Physiology, Casual - Course Consultant

+44 (0)1524 594261 B023, B - Floor, Furness College

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves

Senior Lecturer

ImaginationLancaster, Work and Health Forum

+44 (0)1524 510794

Dr Sandra Varey

Senior Research Associate, Senior Research Associate (Qualitative)

+44 (0)1524 592432 C083, C - Floor, Furness College

Professor Catherine Walshe

Professor, Head of Department

International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 510124 C052, C - Floor, Furness College

University Associates

Dr Sarah Allinson

Senior Lecturer, Casual - Course Consultant

+44 (0)1524 593922

Janet Anderson

PhD student

+44 (0)1524 593119

Centre for Biophotonics, Centre for Technological Futures , Cyber Security Research Centre (Data), Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, SCC (Data Science), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), Security Lancaster (Cyber Security)

+44 (0)1524 510391

Dr Lynne Blair

Senior Lecturer

SCC (Pervasive Systems)

+44 (0)1524 510360 C40, C - Floor, InfoLab21

+44 (0)1524 594399

Professor Susan Cartwright

Professor of Organisational Psychology and Wellbeing

People, Work and Organisation

+44 (0)1524 592430

Professor Peter Diggle

Distinguished Professor

+44 (0)1524 593957

Dr Penny Foulds

Honorary/Visiting

Work and Health Forum

+44 (0)1524 592775

+44 (0)1524 592760

Dr Andrew Harding

Senior Research Associate

+44 (0)1524 592847

Dr Thomas Keegan

Director of PG Research and Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology

+44 (0)1524 594539 C039, C - Floor, Furness College

Professor Joanne Knight

Chair in Applied Data Science

+44 (0)1524 594800 B006, B - Floor, Furness College

Professor Peter McClintock

Research Professor, Emeritus Professor

Low Temperature Physics, Nonlinear and Biomedical Physics

+44 (0)1524 593073 C506, C - Floor, Physics Building

Centre for Biophotonics, Earth Science, Innovation for a better environment, Sustainable Catchments, Understanding a changing planet

+44 (0)1524 510268

Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Violence & Society)

+44 (0)1524 594104

Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Centre for Science Studies

+44 (0)1524 594077

Professor Don Passey

Professor, Casual - Course Consultant

Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning

+44 (0)1524 592314

Dr Ian Paylor

Casual - Teaching

Assure Evaluation

+44 (0)1524 594127

International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 593701 C050, C - Floor, Furness College

Dr Paul Rayson

Reader in Natural Language Processing

Cyber Security Research Centre (Data), SCC (Data Science), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language

+44 (0)1524 510357 B50, B - Floor, Infolab

Dr Rachael Rigby

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1524 593420

Professor Celia Roberts

Casual - Academic Assessor

Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Centre for Science Studies

+44 (0)1524 592205

SCC (Pervasive Systems)

+44 (0)1524 510305 D12, D - Floor, Infolab

Professor John Schad

Professor, Casual - Course Consultant

Lancaster Writing Programme

+44 (0)1524 592234

DisTex - Discourse and Text Research Group, ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Research Group in Cognitive Linguistics , UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language

+44 (0)1524 594176

Ecology and Conservation, Understanding a changing planet

+44 (0)1524 510244 A32, A - Floor, LEC lll

Nonlinear and Biomedical Physics

+44 (0)1524 592784 C507, C - Floor, Physics Building

Centre for Disability Research CeDR, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 594092

Critical Geographies, DEMAND - Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand, Improving global stewardship, Innovation for a better environment

+44 (0)1524 510256

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare , Economics Research Group, Gulf One Lancaster Centre for Economic Research, Labour, Education and Health Economics

+44 (0)1524 592055

Dr Lara Warmelink

Lecturer - Security Lancaster

Cyber Security Research Centre (Psychology), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), Security Lancaster (Behavioural Science), Social Processes

+44 (0)1524 593220 D05a, D - Floor, Fylde College