Wellbeing in Older Adults

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Research in the Psychology Department’s Wellbeing and Older Adults Laboratory focuses on the psychological impact of changes in physical and mental functioning that accompany both normal and abnormal ageing.

The translational aspect of the group’s work advances understanding how older adults’ quality of life can be maintained and/or improved in the face of age-related changes.

Members of this group with interests in abnormal ageing are closely aligned with Bournemouth University’s Dementia Institute (BUDI).

Current research

  • Balance and healthy exercise in older adults
    How can psychological techniques be used to support and maintain exercise in older adults? Samuel Nyman’s work focuses on helping older people maintain physically active lifestyles. This is important because it helps prevent falls. Research by Age UK has recent shown that falls amongst older people cost the NHS in excess of £4.6m a day and account for more than 50% of hospital admissions in the over 70s. Dr Nyman has recently launched the Dorset Alliance to Prevent Falls and Promote Independence (Dorset APP) with the Dorset Osteoporosis Society to work together on researching and preventing falls in Dorset.
  • Older adults’ engagement with online media
    How do older adults’ use the internet and mobile technologies? Do online social interactions promote wellbeing in this group? Cross-disciplinary research being conducted by Jacqui Taylor with the School of Health & Social Care, the Business School and the School of Tourism seeks to find out more about the online presence and practices of this increasingly important social group.
  • Diagnosis, understanding and caring for older adults with dementia
    How do we recognise when someone has dementia? Simon Thompson’s work explores the clinical assessment of dementia and focuses on difficulties in diagnosis when individuals have learning difficulties and dementia and the role of working memory in dementia. His work also includes the design of a neuro-psychological test battery for dementia.
  • Wayfinding in dementia and dementia-friendly architecture
    Finding our way round new environments can be difficult for us all but adults living with dementia need targeted support to find their way around familiar places. Jan Wiener’s wayfinding research uses behavioural and eye-tracking paradims to examine the strategies used by older adults with or without dementia in wayfinding and using this information to create environment which user-friendly architecture and cues to aid navigation.