1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Approaches in Ageing Research

Edited By Anna Urbaniak, Anna Wanka Copyright 2024
    484 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook presents established and innovative perspectives on involving older adults as co-creators in ageing research. It reorients research and policy toward more inclusive and adequate designs that capture the voices and needs of older adults.

    The Handbook:

    • introduces types of participatory approaches in ageing research;
    • highlights key methodological aspects of these approaches;
    • gives insights from projects across different cultural contexts and academic disciplines, showing ways in which older participants can be involved in co-designing different stages of the research cycle;
    • examines key issues to consider when involving older participants at each step of the research process;
    • includes the voices of older adults directly;
    • draws out conclusions and points ways forward for future research.

    This Handbook will be essential reading for researchers and students interested in the field of ageing and/ or participatory methods, as well as for those policy stakeholders in the fields of ageing and demographic change, social and public policy, or health and wellbeing who are interested in involving older adults in policy processes. It will be useful for third-sector advocacy organizations and international non-governmental and public agencies working either in citizen involvement/participation or the ageing sector.

    List of contributors


    1 Participatory approaches in ageing research: An Overview

    Anna Urbaniak and Anna Wanka

    PART I: Methodological aspects of participatory approaches in ageing research

    2 Role of reflexivity in challenging participation inequality in participatory approaches with older adults

    Anna Urbaniak

    3 The willingness of older adults to engage in participatory research: Empirical Findings from Switzerland

    Alexander Seifert

    4 Involving older adults in the data analysis process

    Julia Nolte and Hamid B. Turker

    5 Participatory research and development approaches in applied ageing research

    Birgit Aigner-Walder, Marika Gruber, Gabriele Hagendorfer-Jauk, Daniela Krainer, Johannes Oberzaucher and Christine Pichler

    PART II: Designing research together with older adults

    6 Setting the research agenda together as a form of productive ageing. Rationale and exemplary cases

    Mariano Sánchez and Raúl López-López

    7 Co-creating culturally nuanced social measures with indigenous elders

    Charles Waldegrave, Chris Cunningham, Catherine Love, Giang Nguyen and Monica Mercury

    8 Tensions in transformation: Participatory Approaches in Sustainable Energy Technology Projects in the UK and India

    Carol Ann Maddock, Vanessa Burholt, Deborah Jane Morgan, Kushboo Ahire and Charles Musselwhite

    PART III: Collecting data together with older adults

    9 Promenade parlante: Intergenerational Dialogue, Urban Scenography, and Co-Creation

    Cynthia Imogen Hammond, Shauna Janssen, and Eric Craven

    10 Older individuals’ active participation in data collection in diverse settings in South Africa

    Vera Roos

    11 Challenges and opportunities of new product co-creation with older consumers

    Krzysztof Klincewicz, Katarzyna Dębska, Katarzyna Król, Marcin Skupiński and Magdalena Zatorska

    PART 4: Analysing and validating results together with older adults

    12 Experience of member check with older adults in non-participatory-research-culture

    Irena Zemaitaityte, Jolanta Pivorienė and Agata Katkoniene

    13 “We talked about years that I experienced as well!” – the role of age in the participatory design of phone befriending services in Estonia

    Tiina Tambaum

    14 When care is moving in – participatory approaches to elicit needs and desires when healthcare has become a natural part of your daily life

    Giana Carli Lorenzini and Johanna Persson

    15 Older adults in research: A participatory approach to sexuality and intimacy based on an example from Poland

    Mariola Bieńko and Damian Kalita

    PART 5: Disseminating results together with older adults

    16 Promoting civic participation: Comparing three co-produced models of lifelong learning and cultural engagement in the UK

    Anna Goulding and Thomas Scharf

    17 Making graphic magazines with people living with dementia: The case for participatory dissemination

    Sarah Campbell and Andrew Clark

    18 The later life audio and radio co-operative: Creating sustainable: communities from participatory action research

    Arlind Reuter and Thomas Scharf

    19 The living library – a participatory approach to societal research impact

    Bram Vanhoutte and Neil Dymond-Green

    PART 6: Doing the whole research process together

    20 The Belgian ageing studies: Peer research as an instrument to empower older people

    Nico De Witte, Dominique Verté and Emily Verté

    21 A service provider approach to rights-based research

    Meg Polacsek and Tabitha Porter

    22 Patient partner engagement in dementia research during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

    Lillian Hung and Mario Gregorio

    PART 7: Voices and experiences of older co-researchers

    23 Working together to research the everyday lives of people living with dementia and those supporting them

    Diane Seddon, Teresa (Dory) Davies and Hannah Jelley

    24 Co-creating research: Co-researchers’ parallel conversations with Māori elders

    Charles Waldegrave and Monica Mercury

    25 Co-creating research: Co-researchers’ parallel conversations from the participatory action research project ‘CareComLabs’

    Shkumbin Gashi and Erich Kohler

    26 Doing research together – insights from the intergenerational project “DigiGen” in Germany

    Anna Wanka, Miranda Leontowitsch, Friedrich Wolf and Horst Schöberl

    27 Co-creating research: Co-researchers’ parallel conversations from the project ‘SEVEN – Socially Excluded Older Adults: Voices and Experiences’

    Charlotte Gruber and Katrin Lehner

    PART 8: Future perspectives in the field of participatory approaches in ageing research

    28 Participation for mission-oriented innovation: A governance perspective

    Julian Stubbe, Anne Busch-Heizmann and Maxie Lutze

    29 Employing citizen science to understand the contemporary needs of older adults accessing and using technology in a pandemic

    Hannah R. Marston, Deborah Jane Morgan, Gemma Wilson-Menzfeld, Jessica Gates, Carol Ann Maddock, Elisabeth J., Jenny Philips, Gavin Bailey, and Julie Nicholson

    30 Co-producing knowledge: Reflections from a community-based participatory research project on caring communities to strengthen ageing in place

    Heidi Kaspar, Claudia Müller, Shkumbin Gashi and Dennis Kirschsieper

    31 Epistemology and methodology of participatory research with older adults: A comparison of four age-friendly city national experiences

    Myriam Leleu, Mario Paris, Hugo Bertillot, Suzanne Garon, Robert Grabczan, Olivier Masson, Thibauld Moulaert and Damien Vanneste

    32 Participatory approaches in ageing research: Future perspectives

    Anna Urbaniak and Anna Wanka



    Anna Urbaniak is a social sciences researcher with expertise in life-course transitions, the re/production of social inequalities across the life course, and participatory approaches in ageing research. She is a founder of PAAR: Research Network on Participatory Approaches in Ageing Research and a chair of COST Action CA22167 on Participatory Approaches with Older Adults (PAAR- net). She is also a co-chair of the Research Network on Ageing in Europe (European Sociological Association). She is working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Vienna (Austria) and Jagiellonian University (Poland), and as an Assistant Professor at Cracow University of Economics (Poland).

    Anna Wanka is a sociologist and critical gerontologist interested in the social construction of age. Her areas of expertise comprise the social practices of un/doing age, life course transitions/retirement and the re/production of social inequalities across the life course, ageing and technologies, age-friendly cities and communities, mixed-methods, and participatory research. She is co-founder of PAAR: Research Network on Participatory Approaches in Ageing Research and a co-chair of COST Action CA22167 on Participatory Approaches with Older Adults (PAAR- net). She is working as a research group leader at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.