People aged 55 years and over


There are five research strands in our research programme related to people aged over 55 years. One of the underlying key themes of the research programme is addressing social isolation and loneliness in people aged 55 years and over

Social isolation and loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness in people aged over 55 years:  we have investigated the conditions that lead to social isolation and loneliness among older people (55 years and above) have recommended strategies and solutions to prevent and mitigate isolation.

Our report commissioned by UK's Milton Keynes Council is available here.

Online social interactions

Online social interactions by people aged over 65 years and how it affects their social inclusion and alleviation of social isolation: the challenges that they experience in getting online and staying online (e.g. training and ongoing support); disadvantages of being online such as visits by carers and family may decline, fewer face-to-face interactions and contributions in the local community, becoming less mobile, and concerns about privacy. 

This is one of our papers that discusses the role that online social interactions can play in social and digital inclusion of people aged over 55 years. 

Digital skills 

Digital skills of people aged over 55 years - challenges they face and the strategies for preparing them for employability and for continued employment.

A report on this topic is available here.

Digital health wearables

Use of digital healthcare devices by older people for self-management and self-monitoring of health - but also to alert their carers who may be at a distance? How do medical professionals fit within this ecosystem? Are the technologies being designed to improve and guide medical interventions?This fourth strand of our research has been funded by Sir Halley Stewart Trust.

A news item related to the award and the project page gives details of the project.


In this Sir Halley Stewart Trust-funded project and a collaboration between The Open University and Oxford Brookes University, we are investigating the value of photograph-sharing through social media websites as a mitigator of loneliness and enabler of wellbeing of older people, aged 60 years and over living in the UK. 

A news item related to the project and this project page give details of this project.