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Involving older people in research: a guide for researchers and community groups

23 Apr 2009

The Network and the Australasian Centre on Ageing (ACA) at the University of Queensland have produced a guide for involving older people in research. The Guide is a product of an ongoing program of work within the Network in Ageing Well and builds on a series of workshops held in 2006-2007. The Guide is intended to assist researchers, older people, community and peak organisations to work together to achieve positive outcomes from research on ageing. It provides some practical tips on how working together can help make a difference to the lives of older people.

The Guide was written by Dr Jeni Warburton (ACA) and Dr Matthew Carroll (Ageing Well Network) in collaboration with the National Seniors Association and a range of key stakeholder groups in Australia including Alzheimer’s Australia, Council on the Ageing, Carers Australia and The Benevolent Society and includes brief details of how each of these organisations is embracing involving older people in research. The Network and collaborating organisations will disseminate the Guide as broadly as possible to ensure that its core recommendations are implemented in future research involving older people. A journal article outlining the development of the Guide is in the process of being submitted for publication.

The Guide outlines the following key considerations in researchers and older people working together:

  • Speaking the same language
  • The research process
  • Clarifying roles
  • Communicating with each other
  • Different expectations
  • Who represents older people?
  • The importance of mutual respect
  • Disseminating findings
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