Nothing about me without me - Older People as co-researchers

2 May 2015

Too often older people are not active participants and don’t have a voice in the research process. In many ageing research conferences I attend there are not many people presenting on action research with older people. At the International Ageing and Geriatrics conference in Dublin in Ireland in April 2015 this was quite different with a number of researchers presenting on research projects that involved older people as co-researchers.

A paper by Dr Tine Buffel from the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research at the University of Manchester presented on a project explored the experience of ageing for people living in three different neighbourhoods across Manchester in the United Kingdom. Older people were recruited as co-researchers to interview older people living in their community about their experiences of ageing. The older people played a key role in identifying questions, recruiting participants and analysing data and interviewing 68 older people.  Without the involvement and of older people as co-researchers the project would not have been able to involve a diverse range of people many of whom were socially isolated.

The people who worked as co-researchers became politicised about the challenges facing many people in their local community. This politicisation process has led to people becoming more aware of the type of resources needed to create age friendly communities with people becoming active connected citizens. This research project can be adopted by other cities with actions and strategies that can have a real impact on the age-friendliness of city neighbourhoods.  To find out more about the guide to working with older people as co-researchers download the report from

A copy of the video can be downloaded from