Lab4Living’s network grows

Lab4Living Network Grows

Designing with people is very much at the heart of Lab4Living’s ethos.  Working closely with U3A, Sheffield 50+, Age Concern, Agewell Sheffield and Sheffield Elders’ Congress the research team has established exciting partnerships with older people who are playing an active role in the research process, volunteering and working as community researchers.  This work is seen as vital in gaining proper understanding of the challenges facing an ageing population.

Maria Burton, research associate for the Lab described the importance of this work: ‘many individuals find it difficult to share some of the day to day challenges they face.  This can be particularly the case when talking to someone much younger than they are or when describing some of the more embarrassing problems they confront on a daily basis.  When talking to a peer this process is often much easier and feedback has been that people feel more comfortable in describing these challenges to a person who they feel may have a clearer understanding and may have experienced some of the issues themselves.’

This work has been extensively evaluated and the team which includes Maria Burton, Heath Reed, Paul Chamberlain and Gail Mountain are presently looking at ways to share their findings with others.