We are delighted to announce that we were awarded European funding for a Marie Curie Doctoral Training Network on Advancing Research and Training on Ageing, Place and Home – HOMeAGE.
The HOMeAGE training network, coordinated by ICSG Director (K. Walsh), involves a 9-country collaboration and 12 doctoral researchers. Worth €3.3 Million overall, it features strategic partnerships with key intergovernmental (e.g. WHO; UNECE; IFA and Age-Platform) and national policymaking and NGO agencies on ageing.HOMeAGE aims to establish new interdisciplinary and international leaders on ageing in place, tackling key challenges across needs and systems, belonging and integration, and rights and representation. HOMeAGE will commence in January 2023, with a call for PhD applications in December 2022.
Ageing in place is critical to the future of ageing societies in Europe. Older people’s places are recognised as fundamental to long term health and wellbeing outcomes – a fact that has been magnified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, critically, almost a third of older people in Europe experience neighbourhood deprivation, a fifth encounter a lack of cohesion, a growing number are homeless, and approximately 3 million continue to reside in institutional settings. There are significant concerns that efforts are failing to support ageing in place. With its development as a field fragmented across disciplines and sectors, and with few researchers equipped to tackle this fragmentation, innovation in research and policy risks stagnation.
The Doctoral Researchers will be hosted by one of the beneficiary organizations in the HOMeAGE network, and will be supported by associated partner organizations. HOMeAGE beneficiaries and partners represent the key intersectoral actors in the field, comprising: leading research units; major intergovernmental organisations; international civil society actors; governmental and non-governmental organisations; public advisory agencies and innovation bodies. HOMeAGE delivers a unique employability and skills development process for DRs ensuring that they can lead the response to current research and policy deficits.
HOMeAGE will address the three interconnected challenges of (1) needs and systems, (2) home and belonging and (3) rights and voice, through the work of the 12 DRs and their individual research projects (IRPs).
The Three Challenges and Doctoral Researcher Projects
Challenge 1- Needs and Systems: Emerging from the physical and infrastructural dimension of ageing in place, there are significant unmet housing, care and mobility needs amongst older people in Europe. HOMeAGE will identify flexible and sustainable housing, community-care and mobility systems and critically assess their capacity to support community living needs, across various cultural and structural conditions. DR1 examines the interchange between housing system design, rural and urban housing displacement, and vulnerable group wellbeing. DR2 examines how new transport solutions, comprising public and private aspects, affect wellbeing, gendered mobility strategies and ageing in place. DR3 investigates the support and care conditions (including digital technologies) that enable frail older people, in underserved communities, to age in place. DR4 addresses the housing, care and mobility nexus in a COVID-19 legacy context, and assesses the potential for new technologies to enhance home care environments and out-of-home mobility.
Challenge 2 – Home and Belonging: Implicating the social and cultural dimension of ageing in place, older adult place-based engagement is changing in European societies. HOMeAGE will identify innovative place-based pathways for engagement as a means to create new channels for building a sense of home and belonging amongst diverse older populations, in diverse places. DR5 explores how digitalisation might support agency and belonging of older men and women post Covid-19, and the implications for gendered identity. DR6 evaluates the meaning of home and community for older people ageing in less ‘normative’ and segregationist settings (custodial, transient) to inform new pathways for securing integration for displaced populations. DR7 examines how environmental change (manifest in different settings types) and personal life transitions combine to shape positive health and ageing and placemaking across the exclusion-integration continuum.
Challenge 3 – Rights and Voice: Arising from the institutional dimensions of ageing in place, current structures fail to sufficiently represent the voice of older people, and address their right to age in place. HOMeAGE will identify integrative frameworks, that are responsive to the diversity of older people and their places, to drive relevant and rights-based policy development on ageing in place. RWP3 will interrogate how empowering older people and promoting representations of community living can advance rights-based policy for ageing in place in a Covid context. DR8 examines the marginalisation of rurality and care needs in ageing in place policy and the implications for rights to care, and sustainability of homecare in rural and remote settings. DR9 interrogates the actual and symbolic representation of older people as rights holders in the development of ageing in place technologies and innovation policy, and the consequences for digital exclusion. DR10 examines social rights as a basis for equitable, non-ageist policy development on ageing in place, contrasting community and institutional settings. DR11 investigates how urban change and regeneration policy disrupts ageing in place for diverse groups and how participatory policy processes might counter this disruption. DR12 critiques age-friendly policy in its application to planning and development processes to enhance the voice and representation of diverse populations