Sheffield retirees to play active role in health lifespan research

Retired people in Sheffield will play a part in new research into healthy ageing.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:56 am
People on a coputer.
People on a coputer.

The Healthy Lifespan Institute and Sheffield u3a (formerly the University of the Third Age) have formed a partnership to ensure research incorporates the lived experiences of older people.

U3A is an international movement of retired and semi retired people who come together to continue their educational, social, creative, health and well-being interests in a friendly and informal environment. With nearly 3,000 members and 200 interest groups, Sheffield is the largest u3a in the UK.

One of the core principles of the Healthy Lifespan Institute is to incorporate the lived experiences of patients, service users, carers and other service providers into its ageing research. The partnership with Sheffield u3a will give Healthy Lifespan researchers the opportunity to embed the insight and expertise of u3a members into research activity, with a particular focus on those experiencing multi-morbidity, which is the presence of two or more chronic health conditions.

Professor Alan Walker, co-director of the Healthy Lifespan Institute at the University of Sheffield, said: “Our institute rejects the notion that academics are the sole experts in ageing and health related research. We must collaborate with people from all sections of society if we are to produce recommendations for healthy ageing practises that work in the real-life contexts of how we live. Our partnership with Sheffield u3a will provide a valuable bridge between our academic researchers and u3a members."

To achieve these aims, The Healthy Lifespan Institute and Sheffield u3a have created a Shared Learning and Research Advisory Group. The group will review proposed and active research projects being undertaken by researchers in the Healthy Lifespan Institute and will identify opportunities for knowledge exchange activities between academic researchers and u3a members.