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Ageing and Assisted Living research

Ageing and Assisted Living is a cross-disciplinary research area, established to promote innovative, multi-disciplinary research in ageing and assisted living with the aim of improving the health and quality of life of older people and people with disabilities.

The UK’s population is ageing. More of us are living into old age and rising numbers of people with chronic illness will place unsustainable pressure on our economy and health and social care systems. As the number of people with chronic illness and disability increases, the demand for assisted living technology has grown to support independent living and enhance quality of life.

Key focus areas

Health behaviours and lifestyle choices are major determinants of life expectancy, health and wellbeing in old age. Researchers within this focus area will explore novel approaches and interventions to promote and sustain health and wellbeing across the life course into old age.

Our people

  • Dr Jo Barton, School of Biological Sciences: Green exercise, green care, measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the elderly.
  • Professor Chris Cooper, School of Biological Sciences: Development of non-invasive optical methods to track changes in muscle blood flow and oxygen metabolism in the elderly.
  • Dr Nick Cooper, Department of Psychology: Psychophysiology of the effects of stress on ageing.
  • Dr Helge Gillmeister, Department of Psychology: Psychological benefits of exercise, body perception across the lifespan.
  • Dr Val Gladwell, School of Biological Sciences: Green exercise, workplace health and wellbeing, physical activity, measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the elderly.
  • Dr Murray Griffin, School of Biological Sciences: Green exercise, evaluating the use of music in the treatment of dementia.
  • Professor Sheina Orbell, Department of Psychology: Social psychological aspects of preventive health behaviour.
  • Professor Jules Pretty, Deputy Vice Chancellor, School of Biological Sciences: Green exercise, green care.
  • Professor Debi Roberson, Department of Psychology: In healthy ageing and with chronic conditions – what counts as being 'well' or 'ill'?
  • Dr Gavin Sandercock, School of Biological Sciences: Child fitness, obesity, cardiac health, cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Dr Netta Weinstein, Department of Psychology: Environmental behaviours.

Age is the single biggest risk factor for many life-threatening diseases, such as heart failure, cancer and dementia which can lead to chronic ill health and dependence. Researchers working within this focus area will examine the cause, cure and care of a range of age-related diseases and conditions.

Our people

  • Dr Selwa Alsam, School of Biological Sciences: Hospital acquired infections, infections in the elderly.
  • Dr Greg Brooke, School of Biological Sciences: Breast and prostate cancer, Alzheimer's disease.
  • Dr Phillip Cannell, School of Health and Human Sciences: Improving oral health in older people and those with dementia.
  • Dr Hongsheng Dai, Department of Mathematical Sciences: Bayesian computational statistics, survival analysis and longitudinal analysis, medical statistics.
  • Professor Nelson Fernandez, School of Biological Sciences: Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Professor Gill Green, School of Health and Human Sciences: Experience and impact of chronic illnesses, social experience of illness.
  • Professor Jo Jackson, School of Health and Human Sciences: Trial of pilates for urinary incontinence.
  • Mary Kennedy, School of Health and Human Sciences: Dementia care.
  • Professor Elena Klenova, School of Biological Sciences: Understanding cellular ageing at the molecular level, breast and prostate cancer.
  • Dr Berthold Lausen, Department of Mathematical Sciences: Health informatics.
  • Dr Louise Marsland, School of Health and Human Sciences: Trial of pilates for urinary incontinence, evaluating the use of music in the treatment of dementia.
  • Dr Peter Martin, School of Health and Human Sciences: Dementia care.
  • Dr Metodi Metodiev, School of Biological Sciences: Breast and prostate cancer.
  • Sarah Murray, School of Health and Human Sciences: Improving oral health in older people and those with dementia.
  • Professor Sheina Orbell, Department of Psychology: Social psychological aspects of the physical health and health care of older people.
  • Bryan Paddison, School of Health and Human Sciences: Improving oral health in older people and those with dementia.
  • Professor Silke Paulmann, Department of Psychology: Emotional communication in normal and abnormal ageing.
  • Dr Aris Perperoglou, Department of Mathematical Sciences: Statistical modelling and data analysis, medical statistics, clinical trials.
  • Dr Ralf Zwacka, School of Biological Sciences: Mesenchymal stem cells and cancer therapy, Apoptosis pathways and treatment resistance mechanisms in cancer, Redox-regulated pathways in cancer and stem cells.

The physical environment plays a central role in determining disabled and older people’s independence, mobility and wellbeing. Researchers within this focus area will aim to develop new tools and technologies that will enable the elderly, disabled and those with long-term conditions to live independent lives and support translation of assisted living technologies into care/home environments.

Our people

  • Dr Luca Citi, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Brain-computer interfaces, neural prostheses, physiological signal processing, computational intelligence for health-related problems.
  • Dr Adrian Clark, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Intelligent environments, embedded systems.
  • Professor Maria Fasli, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and Institute for Data Analytics: Automatic construction of user profiles for assisted living.
  • Professor John Quiang Gan, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Intelligent systems, robotics, brain-computer interfaces.
  • Dr Michael Gardner, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Virtual reality systems, mixed-reality environments, user-centred design, human-computer interaction, socio-technical systems, pervasive computing evaluation.
  • Professor Gill Green, School of Health and Human Sciences: Accessibility study for the Robochair.
  • Dr Dongbing Gu, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Intelligent systems, robotic assistive technology, human computer interaction for assisted living.
  • Professor Hani Hagras, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Intelligent buildings and environments for assisted living, intelligent autonomous systems, intelligent autonomous robots.
  • Professor Huosheng Hu, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Healthcare robotics, telecare, telehealth, telerehabilitation.
  • Professor Jo Jackson, School of Health and Human Sciences: Accessibility study for the Robochair.
  • Professor Simon Lucas, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Human centred robtics, development of bespoke exer-gaming software for rehabilitation of recurrent fallers.
  • Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Embedded systems for rehabilitation and assistive living.
  • Professor Riccardo Poli, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Brain-computer interface.
  • Dr Martin Reed, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Network security, management and control of optical and core networks, multimedia internet applications, multi-dimensional signal processing algorithms.
  • Professor Riccardo Russo, Department of Psychology: Telehealth, telecare, use of technology to measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the elderly.
  • Dr Paul Scott, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Machine learning, applied artificial intelligence.
  • Dr Francisco Sepulveda, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Brain-computer interfaces, myoelectric operation of artificial limbs and robotic devices, neural prostheses, neurorehabilitation.
  • Anita Steinberg,School of Health and Human Sciences: Accessibility study for the Robochair.
  • John Stevens, School of Health and Human Sciences: Developing smartphone apps for dementia patients.
  • Dr Matthew Taylor, School of Biological Sciences: Using the Nintendo Wii to improve balance and quality-of-life in recurrent elderly fallers, study of gait/movement in the elderly.
  • Professor Arnold Wilkins, Department of Psychology: Assisted living for migraine sufferers.
  • Professor Kun Yang, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering: Wireless networks and communication, wired network, pervasive (or adaptive) service engineering (mainly in wireless mobile environment), communication networks in assisted living.

Contact us

You can contact our researchers directly using the links to their profiles above.

Health@Essex

Health@Essex

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